Reader Mail

Souls and Rolls

Mormon, Baptists, and political tensions. Another ticked off reader. Back Dome again in Indiana. Plus more.

11.26.07

Send to Kindle

MANY ARE CALLED
Re: Paul Chesser's It's About Souls, Not Rolls:

Take your defense of anti-Mormons and change the targets to Muslims or Jews. Your words would scream bigotry, and you and those you defend would be marked as hateful racists. And yes, Muslims do convert people. The only major difference is neither upholds Christ as the Son of God who was sacrificed for our sins, Mormons do.

It wasn't that long ago that the ancestors of those you speak of were claiming the same rights of bigotry against a different type of fellow Christian. They claimed that as a right of conscience they could act bigoted against Catholics. Catholics, the people who actually solidified, set in stone, and promulgated around the world the very doctrine these "Christians" are defending. I guess bigots can have it both ways.

There is a fine line between protecting the souls of a congregation and protecting the revenue the preacher lives off of. You have come very close to noticing how badly that line gets crossed. If you had truly looked closer, you would have seen that lies and half truths and smears are used to promote bigotry, and the bigotry is what keeps the fold from listening, and keeps the fold from straying.

Since when has it become Christian to be bigoted? Can you find for me where Christ taught "blessed are the bigoted for they shall inherit heaven"? I keep forgetting about that commandment to love your neighbor as yourself, except of course for Mormons, hate them all you want. At least we have gotten past the point where all the Ten Commandments could be broken in the fight against Mormons. If we could just get past the part that says it is okay to lie against Mormons.

All this over a little difference. Mormons believe in God the Father, his Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost as a unified Godhead. Three distinct beings unified in purpose, the second two serving the first. When Christ was baptized or Stephen stoned, God hadn't split Himself into two or three parts, nor was it an illusion. When Christ complained about God forsaking Him on the cross, it wasn't some weirdness of God somehow forsaking Himself, but that Christ had truly been left to overcome sin and death on His own. No, this isn't the doctrine as voted upon in the Counsel of Nicaea. It is good though to see that the old Creed is still serving its purpose to include those who profess it and exclude those who do not.

But please tell me. If this part of the Catholic Church is right, why isn't the rest of it right? Or if the Catholic Church has strayed, would we all be required to return to it if it repents? Just who gets to decide which precepts and teachings we are allowed to Protest about in forming new Christian Churches, and which are forbidden taboos? If the Catholic Church once had authority straight from God, and has lost it, how would we ever get it back? Wouldn't it be presumptuous for man to take it upon himself?

I will stop this line of logic. Follow it yourself if you aren't afraid to convert. I would be happy just to find more Christians teaching each other to be more like Christ. But I will let you in on another little ugly secret. It is not just Mormons and Catholics upon whom this bigotry is focused. I once had a Baptist roommate who showed me a catalog where he could buy pamphlets attacking every other Christian religion. I still wonder if the company that produced this atrocity has other versions where they might erase say Church of Christ, enter Baptist in its place and sell it to even more people.

The competition for souls out there is fierce. Unfortunately some apparently believe that it is a no-holds barred, anything goes type of competition. They need to be reminded that behaving that way puts their souls in jeopardy.

Please stop supporting unconscionable "acts of conscience."
-- James Bailey

A fair and reasonable article -- thanks.

Dr. Land says that "There are now more Mormons that used to be Southern Baptist than any other denomination." Probably true, but I'm pretty sure Dr. Land doesn't have any real facts to back it up -- just a good guess, presented as a fact. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints does not keep such statistics -- don't know, don't care. Where else could accurate figures come from? Do Mormon converts report back to their former preacher (I did), and the preacher calls in the number to Dr. Land? Do those who were formerly affiliated with, say, Orthodox Judaism somehow get that information back to Dr. Land?

Hey, this would make an interesting statistic: How many Mormons are poached by the Southern Baptists? (Hint: it's a pretty tiny number.) (Another hint: those few ex-Mormon "trophies" are probably not big contributors to the general spirituality and happiness of their new church.)

A former Southern Baptist myself (and I had no complaints about that religion, by the way), I remember reading this same concern about 30 years ago in an editorial in the Baptist Courier. It stated that the Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, etc., had people move around among the various sects, and everything balanced out pretty well. The big concern was that when someone joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, they dropped out of that loop and were permanently lost from the pool. An accurate observation.

Another quote attributed to Dr. Land: "As a consequence, Southern Baptists and other evangelicals have taught their people what Mormons believe and why it's beyond the boundaries of the Christian faith, to inoculate them against those Mormon missionaries." Now how in the Sam Hill is Dr. Land qualified to teach anybody what Mormons believe? If he knew, he'd probably be a Mormon himself. Sheesh. To give out supposedly authoritative information on another religion is just plain dishonest. If I want to know something about what the Free Will Baptists believe, I go find me a happy, faithful, practicing FW Baptist and ask him. Or better yet, his preacher. I certainly don't ask my Mormon bishop about some other religion and expect to get an accurate and complete response. If I'm trying to figure out what's wrong with my truck, I don't ask my plumber, for crying out loud.

If one is a little skittish about actually speaking to a live Mormon, check out what we publish. When you get a little time (days, actually!) check out mormon.org (what we believe), lds.org (virtually everything we teach and how we teach it, including every conference address by a general authority over the last forty years or so), and providentliving.org, and follow the links. It's all there. I'm not aware of ANY other church that is so completely open about its beliefs.

However -- and this is the big one that most of our detractors miss -- unless a person is honest, sincere, and receptive to the promptings of the Holy Ghost, none of this published information is likely to help much. So I guess that is probably the one huge distinguishing mark of those who recognize and join the Savior's own true church: they act on the promptings of the Holy Ghost. Their hearts and their lives are changed, and they no longer have any desire to trash anyone else's beliefs -- only to add more to what they already have.
-- Winfred Kennedy
Campobello, South Carolina

If everyone is so concerned about Mitt's membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, why are they not equally concerned with Harry Reid's membership? Or is religion only objectionable if the believer is a Republican?
-- Patrick Slamon

COMPLETE UNRAVELING
Re: Peter Pitts's Killing Healthy Patents:

As I read the article on the Senate's desire to mess with pharmaceutical processes, I was reminded how Congress and trial lawyers messed with immunizations being made here in the U.S. Now, we are short of vaccines that could stop an outbreak of once eradicated diseases, like smallpox. And with new undocumented immigrants flooding across the borders in great numbers new diseases and more complicated versions of the old ones are cropping up across the United States.

We are moving toward the complete unraveling of the United States as we know it. With larger food supplies being grown elsewhere, in conditions we cannot assure for our own safety, and products made in countries that use lead and other undesirables, we will become ripe for something major sweeping throughout and decimating much of the population. But, that may be the only thing that awakens us up.

Congress gets no real business done itself, yet criticizes Iraq's new Congressional equivalent, for not making as much progress as the goals we set for them. When will the American people wake up and throw out incumbent political hacks that are self-serving and simply incompetent?!
-- Bev Gunn
East Texas rancher

LET'S SPLIT HAIRS
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.'s Crybaby Kerry and Phil Kenny's letter (under "All the Time in the World") in Reader Mail's Tick, Tick, Tick:

Sorry Phil, When first he was informed about the million, Supreme Warrior and Great Leader (pending) wrote T. Boone a letter back stating that he had already "proved" the allegations of the first hand witnesses false and to just send him the money NOW! T. Boone said basically well no you haven't and I (T. Boone) am still waiting for the proof and here is what will convince me. Silence so far after that from the greatest man in the world and world history. Although of course he is revered here behind enemy lines in Seattle.
-- Craig Sarver
Seattle, Washington

While your clock is kind of amusing, it looks rather poorly done and unprofessional when it shows the seconds or the minutes as :1 instead of :01. How about showing some excellence here?
-- TH
Albuquerque, New Mexico

THEY WILL COME
Re: RiShawn Biddle's Giuliani's Lesson and Fred McCarthy's letter (under "Peyton Place") in Reader Mail's Tick, Tick, Tick:

As a long-time Republican here in Indianapolis, it has always been interesting what people get mad at instead of what they should get their blood to boil. In all fairness to Mayor Peterson, there is a distinct benefit to building a new football stadium. The city has wanted to expand the convention center to capture more convention business as well as not lose much of the business it already has to larger venues in other cities. Both the present RCA Dome and the convention center are the two parts of the same complex with no adjacent land to build extensions. The only way the convention center can expand is by demolishing the RCA Dome -- building another football facility elsewhere. In this sense, building the new football stadium is a "win-win" for both the city and the Colts.

Since the first hint that a new stadium was under consideration, a steady stream of letters-to-the-editor have made their appearance in the local paper (Indianapolis is a "one-paper" town) all stating more or less the same thing: "how can we give millions away to professional athletes who already make millions when our "X" (usually some other liberal boondoggle or sacred cow) is badly in need of funds? Where are our Hoosier values?" This slow drip eventually did have its toll on Mayor Peterson's 3rd term bid.

I didn't vote for Peterson in any of his previous elections and I certainly didn't vote for him this time. (If he ran for President of our local elementary school's P.T.A., I still wouldn't vote for him.) Yet the stadium deal was at least defensible in terms of what more convention business would mean to the whole community. What was indefensible was the tax.

When the original football stadium was built in the 1980s (with no football team to go in it), a countywide, first time ever "hospitality tax" on restaurants and hotels was enacted to pay for the Hoosier Dome (rename RCA Dome after naming rights were sold). This tax was sold to the public as a temporary tax which would be retired once the Dome was paid for. As the new stadium deal was being put together it was announced that another, additional "hospitality tax" would have to be instituted to pay for this facility. Then certain facts came out: the original tax already would have paid for the Dome long ago if the money actually had gone to that purpose. The debt on the Dome was never retired because the city kept refinancing the loan. The excuse used was that the language of the legislation for the tax didn't say they couldn't use the loan to in effect pay for other projects. So, now, Indianapolis has two hospitality taxes. It is purported that the new law will not let the city do with the second tax what it did with the first; but only time will tell.

One would have thought this would have caused the populace to throw the bums out of city hall; but it quickly faded from memory. Instead, we are all worked up about "giving millions to millionaires." I am not particularly a football fan and I don't go to the games. I go to a few of our AA baseball team's games a year at a far more reasonable and affordable price. (How an average person is supposed to afford to take the family out to a NFL football game is beyond me). The presence of the Colts in Indianapolis makes me not one more dime in income. But if the city wants an NLF team and an expanded convention center, then the price will have to be paid. What is inexcusable is telling the public a tax is needed until a sports stadium is paid for when one has no intention of ever paying off the loan.

As it was, Mayor Peterson met the perfect storm of over-confidence, arrogance, and absence of political judgment. Raising the county income tax 65% while the entire state of Indiana was in upheaval over increased property taxes should have spelled the end to any politician's career. This, along with a series of failures Peterson let fester, did him in. The stadium was the least of it.
-- Mike Dooley

LOOKING DOWN
Re: Jeffrey Lord's JFK, Bush, and the Politics of Hate:

You do remember the daily drumbeat of hatred for President Clinton... right?

For that matter, look in the hatred for President Lincoln.

Or look in the hatred for President Roosevelt.
-- Gray Pattern
Canada

IN AWE
Re: Jeff Emanuel's The Longest Morning:

What a great story!!! If it were not for the Internet, so few would learn about our war and the courage of our men and women on the front lines.
-- Timothy
Phoenix, Arizona

Like this Article

Print this Article

Print Article