No, I’m not making an LDS version of I am Legend (though I’m curious what that would even be… Any thoughts?), but I want to do a better at being a bit more vocal about who I am and what I believe. No worries, I’m not going to be doing any preaching to try and convert everyone I see, but there are plenty of people out there that have misconceptions about what I believe and so I guess I’m responding to that more than anything else.
What surprises me is that there is such animosity toward members of the LDS Church and that it is OK in the public sector to say whatever you want about us. I thought this article was particularly interesting (and yes, it’s written by someone who is LDS). I was shocked at the attacks people made on Mitt Romney throughout the Republican primaries, and I’m really sad to see him out of the race – he is by far the best republican candidate on paper. Honestly, he’s one of only a couple people I would feel comfortable voting for (McCain and Obama are NOT on that short list by the way).
I’m not trying to talk about politics, but rather my feeling that the United States is full of hypocrites. We love to pontificate about the importance of being open minded to homosexuality, different races, foreign religions, etc…; but the nation refuses to respect a group of over 6 million American people who live by their faith in what many scholars proclaim to be a truly American Religion. This doesn’t even seem like a stretch, to be perfectly honest – we’re talking about American people who live clean cut lives, that are general good members of the community, and that are some of the first to respond with humanitarian aid in an emergency. What’s the problem?
Well, people don’t like to be bugged by LDS missionaries, and some member of the LDS Church are pretty obnoxious when it comes to sharing their faith – but aren’t a lot of other religions like that as well? I’m OK with LDS missionary jokes on occasion, because I can see how that is obnoxious to some people, but what’s with the straight hatred?
OK, so you don’t agree with our beliefs, but who cares? Just because Mormons believe that God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are three distinct and separate beings that are one in purpose rather than one in physical form does not mean that we are less Christian than the next person. In fact, the LDS Church is only one of many Christian groups that believe in that same doctrine!
Again, I’m not trying to argue specific points of doctrine, rather I hope to point out how ridiculous the prejudice is when you consider that we are pretty much your prototypical Americans. Yeah, we do some things differently (e.g. we don’t drink alcohol or smoke), and we certainly are cheesy when it comes to family time, but does that make us ripe for ridicule in the public square? Does that make us un-American?
If we are so concerned about being an open and accepting society, why are most Americans playing the role of hypocrite when it comes to LDS folks? Going back to the election (and I’m totally stealing this from the article I referenced above), we have a black man, a woman, a baptist, and a Mormon that were all running in the primaries… Do we hear much criticism of the black man? Goodness no! Have I been called sexist for suggesting Hillary would be a bad chose because I disagree with her politics? Oh yeah! Do we make fun of the former baptist minister who says his religion defines him? No, no, no!
What about the Mormon? Well, he’s weird…
On this past Fourth of July I stood up and proclaimed myself to be proud to be an American – but that doesn’t mean I don’t think we have a lot of room for improvement.