Discussions of Mormons and Mormon life, Book of Mormon issues and evidences, and other Latter-day Saint (LDS) topics.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

The Culture War in America: The Need for Cultural Alliances with Those of Other Faiths

"The State of American Culture and What You Can Do About It" is a powerful speech by Judge Justice Robert Bork that has been reprinted in Meridian Magazine. He makes excellent points about the elitist "Olympians" that seek to reshape our society according to their socialistic, atheistic agenda, guided by an almost paranoid fear of religion. I highly recommend reading his essay.

In addressing what can be done, one of his suggestions calls for cultural alliances between religious groups:
It will be important to make cultural alliances across religious lines. Orthodox Mormons, Catholics, Protestants, and Jews have more in common on cultural matters than they do with liberal members of their own faiths. Such alliances do not require joining into one organization; they do require close cooperation between cultural conservatives of all faiths and persons of no faith in the battles that lie ahead.
When it comes to defending the Constitution, I dare say that religious bigotry among conservatives will only help our surrender to the revolution of the Left. In one dramatic example, I am aware of one significant organization fighting to support the Constitution that is about to fall about at the seems due to internal religious bigotry. I may have some interesting information to share about the details in the near future.

Our fellow Christians who rage against Mormons sometimes do much more harm than they realize. The spirit behind anti-Mormonism is so clearly not from God. If I knew nothing of the Church, merely observing the antics and hostility of the anti-Mormon crowd might well raise questions in my mind about whose side those people were on - and I'm not just talking about the extreme examples of the street preachers who wave underwear in the faces of people trying to approach Temple Square in Salt Lake.

There is a culture war going on, and all of us who care about it need to work together to oppose the destructive trends that are shaking our society.


Anonymous said...

You've elevated Bork's (former) title. It's Judge Bork, not Justice Bork.

Daniel Peterson said...


Mormanity said...

Sorry - I just got back from a parallel universe where Chief Justice Robert Bork was giving a great lecture on the dangerous objectives of the ACLU.

Shadow Spawn said...

The sad truth is the evangelicals will never be ready to reconcile their bad feelings about mormons.

I was listening to the Hue Hewitt radio program this spring, and he was touting the possible presidential qualities of governor Mit Romney, a mormon. His show was immediately flooded with calls from conservative Christians claiming they'd vote for Hillary Clinton before they EVER voted for a mormon no matter how qualified he was.

Mr. Hewitt was flabbergasted at the prejudice of people of his own faith. People who claimed to love liberty, and the freedom of worship.

I also remember listening to the Dr. Laura Schlesinger program a few years ago, and she was going on for quite some time about the Mormon missionary program, and how she admired it so much, and how it made men out of boys, and how does a religion instill that kind of selflessness in kids, etc. Immediately, according to her, her show was inundated with emails and phone calls form so called Christians and evangelicals whining at her of the evils of mormanism, so forth Blah, blah, blah.

I can only hope all the religions will reconcile and come together as a community or culture.

Anonymous said...

Dangerous objectives of the ACLU?
Oh no!
Maybe they are in leagues with Satan.
You have any evidence to prove otherwise?
Bet they are then.

Bookslinger said...

ACLU chapters have done some good things and some bad things.

Walker said...


Thank you for your oh-so-enlightening cheap shot. I, for one, do not view the world in such black-and-white terms.

But then again, it is far more entertaining to accuse us of that than it is to actually prove it.

Anonymous said...

My problem with many of the groups you're talking about is that they have a very narrow view of constitutes moral issues. That's one reason I've appreciated what Jimmy Carter has had to say in recent days. He criticizes the Democrats for their enthusiastic support for abortion, but he also critcizes the current administration for its support of preemptive war and torture as components of foreign policy. There are some serious issues of moral decay in our society, but they don't all have to do with issues such as abortion and homosexuality.

NateT said...

Gee I wish Carter was more vocal about the problems in his own party going over to the radicals. So often its a 98% Bush is bad and 2% oh we have a few problems here or there.

Anyways, Evangelicals have it out for us and peeps can cite numerous examples how they will refuse to work with us even if it is to their advantage. Why beat up on a passenger when the Titanic is going down?

Bookslinger said...

I have a problem with the broad brush that some are using to paint Evangelicals or fundamentalist Christians.

First, let's not tar an entire group for the bad behavior of a few.

Second, the ones who do behave badly towards the LDS church aren't even in the same grouping as many others who would describe themselves as "Evangelical."

That is because the "evangelical" flavor of Christianity, or even Evangelicals with a capital E, is not a succinct and defined group. There are so many sanctioning or credentialling bodies with "Evangelical" in their name, that the word has no specific meaning in identifying a particular group with an identifiable set of doctrines and creeds. It is not even a loose association.

"Evangelical" can also be merely an adjective, as opposed to a title, which is now almost without meaning, at least without sufficient meaning to identify a specific set of membership.

It's not like the Lutherans or Baptists or Methodists where you can find a handful of recognized sanctioning bodies for each overall denomination.

And then with so many sanctioning bodies using the words "Lutheran", "Methodist" or "Baptist" in their names, there is debate on what a "true" Lutheran, or Methodist or Baptist is. You have to further identify which sanctioning body under the overall moniker to which you belong.

Even groups like the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) though it has "Evangelical" in its name, is not included in the group that most people think of as "Evangelical Christians" or "Evangelicals".

Lumping all Evangelicals together is about as bad as lumping the polygamous fundamentalist Mormons in southern Utah, and the Reorganized LDS church with the LDS (Salt Lake City based) Mormons.

Anonymous said...

I have just launched a Web site that I hope will be of interest to you and many others: www.CultureWarBriefing.com, a "weekday news guide for Christian conservatives and others in the pro-life, pro-family movement." This roundup of timely headline links from pro-family and other sources will help readers to keep current on the different fronts of the ongoing culture war.

I do hope you will find Culture War Briefing to be a useful site, worthy to recommend to others.

JoelH said...

Several years ago when we still lived in the Redmond, WA stake, our stake mission had what they called a "church-to-church" program that had as its object such "cultural alliances." Every other month, the stake mission held a fireside on a Sunday evening, and invited clergy from a different faith to give a presentation of their faith. It was very well-received, both by LDS and the said clergy. We had a Rabbi from a local synagogue, a Methodist minister, a Presbyterian minister, Jehova's Witnesses, and even the Director of Evangelism from Overlake Christian Church, the largest evangelical church in the state. The latter was shocked when he received the invitation. He had to be told that the invitation involved his presenting his faith to us, NOT presenting our faith to us. Several people from the church came as well, and it was all very cordial. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, I don't think any lasting cultural alliances were formed, but it did much to foster understanding.

It's unfortunate that to many evangelicals, to make cultural alliances with Mormons would be tantamount to endorsing our Christian brotherhood. Years ago, I wrote to Focus on the Family, asking the question of why Dr. Dobson never talked about the efforts of Latter-day Saints in behalf of families, and why he never had LDS guests on his radio program. One of his staff replied that (paraphrasing, I don't have the email anymore) that it had to do with their non-acceptance of LDS as Christians.

Shadow Spawn said...

" that it had to do with their non-acceptance of LDS as Christians."

I've heard that about Dr. Dobson. He's one of those, "Mormons aren't real Christians " people. And to Books of Mormon in Indy.

You are right. We shouldn't lump ALL evangelicals as a group. But, there are MANY who are very malevolent in their feelings about mormons. And I personally think the way they feel about us is kind of contradicting when they claim to be so "Christian".

For example, " I'd vote for Hillary Clinton with and all her evils, for president before I'd even ever consider voting for a mormon. "

Bookslinger said...

I'm going to belabor the point, for a few reasons.

1. When I was a teen, I attended/visited evangelical and pentecostal type churches back in 1972. I don't remember hearing any anti-Mormon stuff. But, I do remember my peer group more or less mocking the Catholic church and some mainstream Protestant churches for not fully believing the Bible, and denying things that the Bible says plainly. In our opinion, those "bland" Protestants and mainstream Catholics were not "true Christians" because they picked and chose which things from the Bible to believe in.

I now realize my views and opinions of other religions back then were not charitable and Christ-like.

2. My grandfather was a devout Presbyterian, and he was one of the most Christ-like men I've known. When I joined the LDS church, my grandfather did to me what Joseph Smith said that ministers should have done to him if they thought him deluded; that is try to rescue him in a loving way. He did not ridicule or insult me, though his sister, my great-aunt did. :-)

3. Those who are truly malevolent, in terms of being physically confrontational, like the guys shouting insults in your face, and desecrating garments on temple square, are actually rare. I draw a sharp line between those guys and the antis who limit themeselves to mere written words, or a politely spoken "you're wrong."

4. The vast majority of actual church-going people who claim we are not Christian are just misinformed. They are merely ignorant of the facts, and do not have malevolent feelings towards us. Or if they do have angry feelings towards us, that is only because they misunderstand us. They are merely buying into what their preachers have said. And in the majority of cases, I believe, their preachers are going by what professional anti-mormons have said. It's like a game of Post Office, and by the time something goes from the professional anti-mormon, to a local pastor, to his congregation, it gets twisted.

5. The malevolent ones are, I believe, the ones who knowingly write garbage for the sake of monetary gain by selling books and videos. They are not even sincere participants of the denominations or factions which they profess. Those are the ones like Walter Martin, and DJ Nelson, etc.

I grew up in the Bible belt in the midwest. I now have a lot of respect for those sincere Catholics and Protestants who go to church every week, pray, read the Bible, and try to do what Jesus would have them do, regardless of which parts of the Bible they believe in.

I have more respect for those kinds of Catholics and Protestants than for some of the arrogant and whiney Mormon snots I met at the MTC, meaning a few of the MTC leadership and a few of the missionaries at the time.

I've met what I would call "malevolent" Mormon missionaries and branch presidents. And some of the guys I served with would even say I was a malevolent missionary at the time. Looking back, I got really bent out of shape.

No matter what the percentages of "good ones" or "bad ones" are, whether we are talking about gender, ethnicity, national origin, religions, etc., it's just plain unfair prejudice to lump all people of one category to together based on the bad actions of a few.

We want to reach out towards those of other faiths, and inform them of what we really believe and who we really are.

Anonymous said...

I'm not a Morman but I would vote for a Morman. Mormans I know are polite and respectful, put a great focus on their families, generally avoid drugs and alcohol, work hard, are honest, etc. What's not to like? Believe me, if everyone was a Morman, the world would be much better than it is today.