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Where Have All the Anti's Gone?


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50 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

Okay, so you mean then that those who oppose the church, leaders, members, doctrines AS a church or as church leaders, as church members, or as church doctrines are anti-Mormon? So those who loudly oppose church doctrines as bad ideas are not necessarily anti-Mormon, since they're opposition has nothing to do with those ideas being church doctrines?

If someone is opposing what they consider is a bad idea, and that "bad idea" happens to be merely aligned or in agreement with Church doctrine, but if the reason the person opposes the idea has nothing to do specifically with the Church's position on that issue (particularly in situations where the person is not concerned about, aware of, or perhaps not even apprised of the Church's position) then sure--that person obviously wouldn't be an "anti-Mormon".

But if the person openly and knowingly is opposing the Church doctrine, in the specific context and with specific knowledge that the Church holds that doctrine, in an effort to limit the Church's influence or dissuade people from looking favorably upon the Church, that would be much more akin to anti-Mormon behavior, at least on that specific issue. In that case, it would not just be a "bad idea" that the person is opposed to, but the opposition would be specifically directed at the Church for promoting or practicing what the person considers to be a bad idea. 

At least, that's how I understand the application of the term. 

Edited by Ryan Dahle
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When LDS use the term "anti-Mormon" among themselves, is it ever not pejorative? It appears to be pejorative.

While I obviously disagree with some LDS doctrines and practices, I wouldn't consider myself to be anti-Mormon. I'm one of your "woke" allies ;)  However, I have no problems expressing my disagreements if the situation were appropriate, such as someone asking questions. I also might try to dissuade someone from becoming LDS. I don't think that's an unreasonable position for a religious person to have. If a Catholic friend said they were thinking about talking to the LDS missionaries, I don't think it would be "anti" of me to point out things I disagree with. Likewise, I wouldn't consider it anti-Catholic if an LDS person aired his/her disagreements about Catholicism to an LDS person wanting to explore becoming Catholic.

Maybe civility and respect is the key here. I would express my disagreements with civility and respect to your beliefs, so perhaps that's why I don't consider myself anti. If an LDS person said, "don't join the Catholics because that is the church of the devil led by Satan himself, the harlot of Babylon!" (I'm looking at you RevTestament, ha) I might consider that to be anti-Catholic. But if this person said, "let's talk about apostasy and priesthood authority as reasons why you shouldn't join the Catholic Church" I think that's perfectly reasonable and civil.

I do remember when I first started visiting this board that there were a lot more non-LDS people who would attack LDS beliefs. It's been awhile since that's happened. It was interesting at first, but ultimately turned out to be banal. It was funny when some new critic would show up guns blazing and everyone would just kinda roll their eyes. Now the criticisms mainly come from current or former members.

If you all want, I could take up the role of traditional anti-Mormon for a couple of weeks if it would make things a little more exciting for all you brainwashed cult members :P  

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4 hours ago, smac97 said:

With respect, I disagree with this sentiment.  I think there is a world of difference, in tone, and content, and intent, between anti-Mormon efforts and the Gospel Topics Essays.  I've previously expressed my views here (in a discussion about the CES Letter) where I compared anti-Mormon efforts to the Palantiri from Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy, and also to Shift, the talking ape in C.S. Lewis's The Chronicles of Narnia: The Last Battle:

Thanks,

-Smac

At the risk of being pedantic the sequence in Narnia is also a little off. Shift found the lionskin and suggested Puzzle wear it as a winter coat. Then Puzzle says it would be disrespectful to Aslan and Shift talks him around. Eventually Shift starts using his "Aslan" to get little favors and live like a lord. Finally he sells out to the Calormene. The summary implies that Shift started with that intent. The initial intent was a much more modest curiosity which turned into a minor grift before advancing to burdening everyone and finally to enslaving everyone to their neighboring enemy.

Saruman also never capitulated to Sauron. They had a sort of alliance and Saruman was almost unknowingly mimicking and being nudged by Sauron with his tower and orc army. In the movie Saruman was Sauron's ally. In the books Saruman wanted the ring to replace Sauron and if he got it he may have succeeded. Sauron seeing Pippin convinced Sauron that Saruman had the ring and he quickly dispatched the Nazgul to the tower which fortuitously pulled Sauron's gaze away from more important matters. Later when Aragorn (the one person who should by right use the palantir) challenged Sauron and in a battle of wills wrested the palantir he had out of Sauron's control. This also frightened Sauron as he now knew the forces arrayed against him had a human leader capable of dominating the ring so he made his move.

EDIT: Fun fact: Sauron was originally Aule's greatest's Maia servant before he turned to evil. When the time came to send the Istari (Wizards) to Middle Earth to aid them they picked Aule's greatest Maia servant.....who was Saruman. Aule was the crafter and builder of the "gods". While Tolkien loved craftsmanship the fall of Sauron and Saruman was about lust for power via creations and machines and you can see how Tolkien felt about the industrial age. Not opposed to crafted things but saw how easily the love of that kind of creation could be "corrupted". The movie played up this aspect of Saruman in many ways more than the novel did. In any case if Aule offers to send his Maia helpers to assist the correct response is: "Thanks but no thanks."

All quibbles and does not really change or challenge your comparison at all but my lore nerd brain switched on. Sorry.

Edited by The Nehor
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10 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

Saruman also never capitulated to Sauron. They had a sort of alliance and Saruman was almost unknowingly mimicking Sauron with his tower and orc army. In the movie Saruman was Sauron's ally. In the books Saruman wanted the ring to replace Sauron and if he got it he may have succeeded. Sauron seeing Pippin convinced Sauron that Saruman had the ring and he quickly dispatched the Nazgul to the tower which fortuitously pulled Sauron's gaze away from more important matters. Later when Aragorn (the one person who should by right use the palantir) challenged Sauron and in a battle of wills wrested the palantir he had out of Sauron's control. This also frightened Sauron as he now knew the forces arrayed against him had a human leader capable of dominating the ring so he made his move.

Thank you. My Tolkien hackles went up because of the misrepresentation, so I'm glad you cleared things up. Part of the problem is that most people know the movies instead of the books, or people read the books after they saw the movies and therefore brought their ideas from the movies to their understanding of the books.

ETA: instead of "books" I should say novel, with 3 parts/volumes and 6 books. As long as we're being pedantic...

Edited by MiserereNobis
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15 hours ago, Bernard Gui said:

We used to have regular “what the Mormons really believe” events in local churches here, some even hosted or sponsored by Ed Decker, but I haven’t heard of any for several years now. Most of the agitation now is from former or current disgruntled members. I don’t know if our former opponents even care about it any more. 

The opposition is proportional to the growth of the church. When the Church was growing in California other churches regularly sponsored programs about us.  I suspect that is still happening in South America and Africa but not so much in Norht America.  We are not a threat to other churches in North America. Their bigger threat is people not believing in God, the Bible or "organized religion"  at all. 

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35 minutes ago, MiserereNobis said:

When LDS use the term "anti-Mormon" among themselves, is it ever not pejorative? It appears to be pejorative.

While I obviously disagree with some LDS doctrines and practices, I wouldn't consider myself to be anti-Mormon. I'm one of your "woke" allies ;)  However, I have no problems expressing my disagreements if the situation were appropriate, such as someone asking questions. I also might try to dissuade someone from becoming LDS. I don't think that's an unreasonable position for a religious person to have. If a Catholic friend said they were thinking about talking to the LDS missionaries, I don't think it would be "anti" of me to point out things I disagree with. Likewise, I wouldn't consider it anti-Catholic if an LDS person aired his/her disagreements about Catholicism to an LDS person wanting to explore becoming Catholic.

Maybe civility and respect is the key here. I would express my disagreements with civility and respect to your beliefs, so perhaps that's why I don't consider myself anti. If an LDS person said, "don't join the Catholics because that is the church of the devil led by Satan himself, the harlot of Babylon!" (I'm looking at you RevTestament, ha) I might consider that to be anti-Catholic. But if this person said, "let's talk about apostasy and priesthood authority as reasons why you shouldn't join the Catholic Church" I think that's perfectly reasonable and civil.

I do remember when I first started visiting this board that there were a lot more non-LDS people who would attack LDS beliefs. It's been awhile since that's happened. It was interesting at first, but ultimately turned out to be banal. It was funny when some new critic would show up guns blazing and everyone would just kinda roll their eyes. Now the criticisms mainly come from current or former members.

If you all want, I could take up the role of traditional anti-Mormon for a couple of weeks if it would make things a little more exciting for all you brainwashed cult members :P  

I have never recognized any of your comments to fall within the parameters of acting or being an anti-Mormon. The difference for me is not about disagreement about theology, doctrine, etc., but an anti-Mormon is committed to tear down Mormonism at all cost. It is a world of extremes without any gray at all. 

For example, within Catholicism it is clear that Catholics do not recognize our baptism. That is not anti-Mormon, but a position resulting from differences in perception on our beliefs. Ed Decker simply lies about what we believe and when corrected he ignores all comments contrary to his position on our beliefs. There is a degree of deceit involved. 

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I started a church related website many years ago and was getting a lot of anti-Mormon type questions. A  lot of people doing a copy and paste of lists they found on the internet of issues critical against the church. People telling me what the church "really" believes as mentioned earlier.  There were also a lot of other Christians who were trying to save me from the "false" doctrines of the church.
Now I don't see any more questions like that coming in at all. I only see church members asking honest questions about the church and its history or doctrines and policies.  Either those other people have given up or they see that the issues have already been addressed in many places and see that it's a waste of time now.

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1 hour ago, MiserereNobis said:

When LDS use the term "anti-Mormon" among themselves, is it ever not pejorative? It appears to be pejorative.

While I obviously disagree with some LDS doctrines and practices, I wouldn't consider myself to be anti-Mormon. I'm one of your "woke" allies ;)  However, I have no problems expressing my disagreements if the situation were appropriate, such as someone asking questions. I also might try to dissuade someone from becoming LDS. I don't think that's an unreasonable position for a religious person to have. If a Catholic friend said they were thinking about talking to the LDS missionaries, I don't think it would be "anti" of me to point out things I disagree with. Likewise, I wouldn't consider it anti-Catholic if an LDS person aired his/her disagreements about Catholicism to an LDS person wanting to explore becoming Catholic.

Maybe civility and respect is the key here. I would express my disagreements with civility and respect to your beliefs, so perhaps that's why I don't consider myself anti. If an LDS person said, "don't join the Catholics because that is the church of the devil led by Satan himself, the harlot of Babylon!" (I'm looking at you RevTestament, ha) I might consider that to be anti-Catholic. But if this person said, "let's talk about apostasy and priesthood authority as reasons why you shouldn't join the Catholic Church" I think that's perfectly reasonable and civil.

I do remember when I first started visiting this board that there were a lot more non-LDS people who would attack LDS beliefs. It's been awhile since that's happened. It was interesting at first, but ultimately turned out to be banal. It was funny when some new critic would show up guns blazing and everyone would just kinda roll their eyes. Now the criticisms mainly come from current or former members.

If you all want, I could take up the role of traditional anti-Mormon for a couple of weeks if it would make things a little more exciting for all you brainwashed cult members :P  

Please don't.  Lol  I love your posts.

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1 hour ago, MiserereNobis said:

If you all want, I could take up the role of traditional anti-Mormon for a couple of weeks if it would make things a little more exciting for all you brainwashed cult members :P  

Or you can do a Jeckyll and Hyde thing so we never know what to expect.

Edited by The Nehor
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6 hours ago, The Nehor said:

They see us as political and cultural allies..........for now.

I would be very surprised if this were true.  I'd like to believe so, but in my experience the vitriol that possessed most of the rabid anti's of forums passed would never see us as allies under any circumstance.  I am referring to CARM, and WalterMartin posters, not simply to those of other faiths, or with whom we have civil theological disagreements with.

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6 hours ago, Thinking said:

The title of your topic is Where have all the antis gone? In your OP you mention two boards. Certainly those two boards are not the only boards where antis have posted, and you should know that social media is very trendy. Remember MySpace? You wouldn't claim that because the number of MySpace users has decreased that people don't participate on social media anymore.

What's social media?  The boards in question were the top of the oppositional heap, for discussions with those who opposed our faith.  Their disappearance is really just a curiosity and perhaps part of a larger trend away from those types of discussions (at least those sponsored by antimormon websites).  This forum still exists and is quite lively in spite of my new MySpace page and regular messaging on AIM.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, MiserereNobis said:

When LDS use the term "anti-Mormon" among themselves, is it ever not pejorative? It appears to be pejorative.

If you all want, I could take up the role of traditional anti-Mormon for a couple of weeks if it would make things a little more exciting for all you brainwashed cult members :P  

You're right, the term "anti-mormon" is pejorative, but not a term that is used broadly within the church to describe anyone with whom we disagree.  While definitions may vary, those who actively work against our faith, typically through deception, fit the anti-mormon term.  This is why Ed Decker is so often cited, because he fits easily into the category, he's the definition.  Someone who understands our doctrine and simply disagree with our interpretation, lifestyle, politics, etc., would not necessarily fit the definition of anti-mormon.  For the same reason that my denying the Pope's infallibility makes me anti-Catholic.     

Edited by Urloony
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18 hours ago, Urloony said:

Hey Papa, we've debated together before on CARM.  Did Slick intentionally delete all of the forums over there, or was it some sort of reset when migrating to a new forum format?  I seem to recall the forums being reset several years ago when they switched to a new format, but now it seems to have happened again.  It truly is endless debate and knowing when to take a break is the only way to maintain one's sanity.  However, losing thousands of posts must be infuriating for the longtime anti posters over there.  My post count was never very high compared to the thousands of posts from many of the others.  I don't remember CARMella, but I do remember Theo and "Catherine" who posted quite regularly.  

“Catherine”, is, or was (among many sock puppets) CARMella here, and is really Carol from Provo. I believe she was a Social Worker there, and truly despised all Mormons, but Mormon Men (Priesthood holders) especially. It was a hatred that truly consumed her, Theo was just a single guy, who seemed to have only one hobby,  or interest, and that was telling others what all Christians should be, and to him none measured up. So, he posted in every forum, giving what seemed his entire spare time, into telling everyone else what they should believe. He even did so to Matt Slick, the owner and operator. I hope Matt, finally got tired of forums devoted to condemning almost every other belief system. After all, it has to be exhausting to keep this type of activity up. He once freely admitted to me that, it was “just a business”, and not a “ministry”, as he had quit whatever job he had, and CARM, became his only means of supporting his family. His wife, Diane was a much nicer person, but I don’t think she shared his vision, and attitude. I hope the place did not ruin them, or that their children did not rebel. We once had an ex-moderator here, who was very popular, she went by the name, “Jack Myers”, who was dismissed from moderating the LDS Forum, for being “to nice, or to fair”. She was given no warning, she just lost her privileges, and so it was with others, for being, “too fair”. Matt would grow weary of Catherine (Carol) and Theo, who would complain, and threaten to withhold their monthly fees, to be “Super Members”, or whatever it was called. James Banta, who uses to post here, at Walter Martin, and CARM, is dead now. However he got banned everywhere, because almost every post was him railing against polygamy, but that was to fool his wife, who followed him everywhere to post, hoping he would end his many, many, many, affairs. It because such a “soap opera”, that he and his wife we banned forever, from every sight. I don’t wish to speak badly of the living or the dead, but Matt Slick may have shut things, or some forums down, because most of the posters, were not the type of Christians he wanted showcased, as role models. While other posters have really bad motives for attacking Latter-day Saints. Anyway, “hatred never shows any good reason, it is just hate”. Hope this helps, as I said, it has been years since I have waded into those shallow waters. 

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27 minutes ago, Bill “Papa” Lee said:

Theo, who would complain, and threaten to withhold their monthly fees, to be “Super Members”, or whatever it was called.

When posters become customers, you have a business model that will develop a conflict of interest pretty quickly.    

27 minutes ago, Bill “Papa” Lee said:

James Banta, who uses to post here, at Walter Martin, and CARM, is dead now.

I remember James, I didn't know he had passed away.

27 minutes ago, Bill “Papa” Lee said:

Matt Slick may have shut things, or some forums down, because most of the posters, were not the type of Christians he wanted showcased, as role models.

Technically the forums still exist, they're just completely inactive.  There are only 400 posts total in the Mormonism section for example.  If Slick did bet the farm on Super Members, there is no way he can be making the revenue he thought he would under the current circumstances. 

Thanks for the updates.  

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23 minutes ago, Urloony said:

I remember James, I didn't know he had passed away.

I am not 100% on that, I just know that years ago he was at “death’s door”, so to speak. Before him and his wife got banned everywhere, he had already had a number of heart attacks, and things were not looking good. I hope he is still alive, as I wish him no ill will for anyone, not even those who hate me. 

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I may have made this observation before and Smac97 brought it up on a previous post but it seems that 20 years ago it was Evangelicals who were the big threat to the Church, I remember Elder Oaks' April 1998 conference talk about being saved. It was in anticipation of the SBC doing missionary work in Utah that year. Now, it is all these ex members who seem to be the big thing. The Evangelicals have taken a backseat. Smac97 mentioned that Evangelicals talk about the same thing over and over but ex members who an "in" with the culture like Bishops' interviews, missions, Temple work etc. Now,what caused all these members to flip out and go against the church? not that every former member does that obviously but what?

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1 hour ago, Urloony said:

I would be very surprised if this were true.  I'd like to believe so, but in my experience the vitriol that possessed most of the rabid anti's of forums passed would never see us as allies under any circumstance.  I am referring to CARM, and WalterMartin posters, not simply to those of other faiths, or with whom we have civil theological disagreements with.

I meant more on a collective level. The faiths that produced Antis are less aggressively adversarial so fewer are created. I doubt it made individual devotees calmer. I also suspect that the increased vitriol in other areas of life may have given those who are that angry other outlets.

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I enjoyed the comments in this thread and at least somewhat agree with most if not all of them. That said, I think there is one more dimension to this.

It seems to me that Evangelical Christians feel a strong need to have an Enemy. In the 70's and 80's the Enemy were "cultists" who poisoned society with their false religious beliefs. But over the next few decades, a new Enemy was found: political liberals. Now, rather than listening to Walter Martin and Ed Decker to learn about what Mormons really believe, they listen to Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity to learn what liberals really believe.

Edited by Analytics
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18 minutes ago, Duncan said:

Now,what caused all these members to flip out and go against the church?

If you consider Church history since the Restoration, you will quickly realise that this has always happened. And then turn to the scriptures, maybe starting with the New Testament and the Book of Mormon, and you'll realise absolutely nothing has changed.

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22 hours ago, Urloony said:

I think Dehlin fancies himself an "honest anti-mormon," when in fact he is the most deceitful.  Ed Decker is a blatant anti, that you can see coming from a mile away.  Dehlin blends in with his nice guy routine and can fool unsuspecting church members with his subtlety.

John is the flip side of Brian Hales, who is one of the most personable and likable guys I have ever met.  John does it, too, just on the other side.

 

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On 7/28/2020 at 6:16 PM, Urloony said:

If there is anyone out there "in the know" as to what has been going on with these guys I'm curious to know.  Perhaps they've given up the good fight?

From my perspective, FARMS and other apologetic services basically won the day.  Online LDS apologists gave such reasonable answers to everything, and made those answers so findable, the critics had to scramble for anything that would stick, ending up with "Internet mormons vs Chapel mormons" and "Dan Peterson is evil and bad and fat", and not much else.  Somewhere in the middle of that, Owens and Mosser, two respected Christian scholars, wrote a scholarly essay to the tune of "For the love of Pete Christians, we suck-diddly-uck at taking on the Mormons!  We have to stop being blinder-wearingly moronic idiots about this, or people will stop taking us seriously!"   "Mormon Scholarship, Apologetics, and Evangelical Neglect: Losing the Battle and Not Knowing It?"   SLC also hosted the Winter Olympics, and nobody's daughters ended up kidnapped into the temple, and the world saw we weren't as weird as they'd heard for generations.  Then Mitt Romney didn't usher in a luciferian reign, and the antis just ran out of steam for their blather machines.  (Did I mention this is all my perspective?  Other perspectives may differ.)

Within a decade or so, the bottom dropped of the Anti-mormon book and lecture market.  No more money in spewing forth obviously-answered 150 year old criticisms about Nephite coinange, and nobody cared about sensational language about cults.  

If you want to find a good battle with old-school antimormons, go to the Catholic Answers Forums Non Catholic Religions board.   They've still got a good 20 antis per 1 LDS ratio going, and you never have to look far for a "here's why Mormons aren't Christian" thread.  Any LDS has to be unfailingly charitable, or they kick you off the board.  The most common insult is "you're being disingenuous."

Edited by LoudmouthMormon
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1 hour ago, Bill “Papa” Lee said:

I am not 100% on that, I just know that years ago he was at “death’s door”, so to speak. Before him and his wife got banned everywhere, he had already had a number of heart attacks, and things were not looking good. I hope he is still alive, as I wish him no ill will for anyone, not even those who hate me. 

Yes, I'm remembering that now.  There were several prayer requests through the forum for him at that time.

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4 hours ago, The Nehor said:

Or you can do a Jeckyll and Hyde thing so we never know what to expect.

It's actually more the Portrait of Dorian Gray. I'm being all nice, but you should see that selfie I've got tucked away in my hidden photos album...

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On 7/28/2020 at 9:34 PM, Nemesis said:

I banned them all for making us defend the indefensible and having such sophisticated arguments  that could not be refuted.  
 

Nemesis

Just gotta pos rep this for your facetious sense of humor... you even out do me.....

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6 hours ago, MiserereNobis said:

When LDS use the term "anti-Mormon" among themselves, is it ever not pejorative? It appears to be pejorative.

While I obviously disagree with some LDS doctrines and practices, I wouldn't consider myself to be anti-Mormon. I'm one of your "woke" allies ;)  However, I have no problems expressing my disagreements if the situation were appropriate, such as someone asking questions. I also might try to dissuade someone from becoming LDS. I don't think that's an unreasonable position for a religious person to have. If a Catholic friend said they were thinking about talking to the LDS missionaries, I don't think it would be "anti" of me to point out things I disagree with. Likewise, I wouldn't consider it anti-Catholic if an LDS person aired his/her disagreements about Catholicism to an LDS person wanting to explore becoming Catholic.

Maybe civility and respect is the key here. I would express my disagreements with civility and respect to your beliefs, so perhaps that's why I don't consider myself anti. If an LDS person said, "don't join the Catholics because that is the church of the devil led by Satan himself, the harlot of Babylon!" (I'm looking at you RevTestament, ha) I might consider that to be anti-Catholic. But if this person said, "let's talk about apostasy and priesthood authority as reasons why you shouldn't join the Catholic Church" I think that's perfectly reasonable and civil.

I do remember when I first started visiting this board that there were a lot more non-LDS people who would attack LDS beliefs. It's been awhile since that's happened. It was interesting at first, but ultimately turned out to be banal. It was funny when some new critic would show up guns blazing and everyone would just kinda roll their eyes. Now the criticisms mainly come from current or former members.

If you all want, I could take up the role of traditional anti-Mormon for a couple of weeks if it would make things a little more exciting for all you brainwashed cult members :P  

That would be fun as long as you allow me to respond with my full arsenal of anti-Catholicism. :) 

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