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

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Safe to Be Unpopular?

Adlai E. Stevenson Jr. once said, "My definition of a free society is a society where it is safe to be unpopular." I like that. One thing I appreciate about living in the United States is that it has, in recent years, been relatively safe to be unpopular. It wasn't that safe in the 1800s, when this unpopular religion of mine got a lot of people driven from their homes or occasionally killed. I'm glad those days are over, for now. But I see new blends of intolerance brewing in this country, with some people becoming increasingly outrageous in their contempt of Christianity. And this intolerance becomes especially severe when the intolerant ones wrap themselves in a shroud of morality and tolerance to condemn those who speak against modern immorality. Keep an eye on this - there will be some interesting developments in the future that may raise new questions about religious liberty. Never take your freedoms for granted!

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

So, you would support something unpopular like gay marriage?

Roy W. Wright said...

It wasn't that safe in the 1800s, when this unpopular religion of mine got a lot of people driven from their homes or occasionally killed. I'm glad those days are over, for now.

I'm not sure whether that's due more to the fact that people are more tolerant, or the fact that the teachings coming out of SLC have become more tolerable.

Walker said...

However, Lucy Mack SMith mentioned attacks on Joseph shortly following the first vision--well before any of the hot button revelations came out.

And don't think that we're that much more tolerated now. In the 60s, the civil rights people were banning BYU sports, even planning marches on SLC. All of this in a fairly militant manner.

Nevertheless, notice that it all basically came to naught. No one ousted members from their homes (at least to my knowledge), no mobbings, assassinations, etc. Some smart mouthing from a few interest groups, but on the whole, people are content to, at most, yell loudly about how evil we are.

Ironically (and sadly), the most recent form of militancy came from one of our own, in the Temple Square garment waving incident. That brother would have done well to follow the brethren's advice to not "revile against the revilers."

Roy W. Wright said...

Lucy Mack SMith mentioned attacks on Joseph shortly following the first vision...

True, but the First Vision was a pretty intolerable thing to claim to have had, in itself. A prophetic vision of God and an accompanying rebuke of every existing religion? What recent teachings from the Church are comparable to even that very first revelation? No, I think we've blended into mainstream American religion pretty comfortably.

Walker said...

Ah, but the question is: have we disavowed some of these unpopular teachings--the First vision, for example? It's still part of the first contact missionaries have w/investigators! Missionaries still tell individuals that we are the one and only true church on the face of the earth. In many ways, the message is the same as always, yet violence against members is minute compared to the 19th century Saints.

Walker said...

Ah, but the question is: have we disavowed some of these unpopular teachings--the First vision, for example? It's still part of the first contact missionaries have w/investigators! Missionaries still tell individuals that we are the one and only true church on the face of the earth. In many ways, the message is the same as always, yet violence against members is minute compared to the 19th century Saints.