An Ugly Attack on My Neighbor

   Posted by: Rob Bowman   in Mormonism

NOTE: This is a special blog entry from Joel B. Groat, the Coordinator for International Ministries for the Institute for Religious Research.

In an op-ed yesterday (12-2-08) entitled, “An ugly attack on Mormons,” Jonah Goldberg drew attention to the LDS-church-slamming TV ad that ran on Election Day. The ad, which also ran on YouTube, showed two Mormon missionaries taking wedding rings and a marriage license from a lesbian couple after announcing “We’re here to take away your rights.”

Goldberg’s concern? Had a similar ad featuring anti-Semitism or anti-Islamic sentiment been broadcast, the outcry against such bigotry and intolerance would have been swift and vociferous. The reaction to the anti-Mormon ad: nada, zero, zip. He went on to note that since the election, “chants of ‘Mormon scum!’ were reported. Envelopes containing white powder have been sent to Mormon temples in California and Utah; vandals hit other temples. Lists of businesses to boycott—essentially Mormon blacklists—have sprung up on the Internet.”

The LDS Church was not the only group to support Prop 8, but instead was one of a number of groups and churches (including many evangelicals) that supported the measure. Why single out the Mormons? In Goldberg’s words, “Mormons are the most vulnerable of the culturally conservative religious denominations and therefore the easiest targets for an organized campaign against religious freedom of conscience.”

So how should conservative evangelical Christians respond to this latest round of Mormon-bashing? Do we pass by on the other side, inwardly glad the LDS Church is getting knocked around? Do we keep our distance, silently rejoicing we’re not the ones who are the target of such vitriolic attacks? Shame on us if that is our attitude. Could we consider a third option? How about coming alongside our neighbor, a fellow-traveler willing to back up his beliefs with his bucks—beliefs regarding marriage and the family that Judaism, Christianity and Mormonism, have in common. Yes, coming alongside the LDS Church at a time of need or speaking in its defense might be risky, it might even be controversial, but isn’t that what being a neighbor is all about?

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008 at 2:12 pm and is filed under Mormonism. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2 comments so far


“Marriage is a civil contract. You might as well make a law to say how many children a man shall have, as to make a law to say how many wives he shall have.” (Journal of Discourses, 11:268-9)


Slippery slope?

December 5th, 2008 at 7:27 pm

I never read any legal document that proclaims marriage as a “right” but a priviledge just as driving motorized vehicle is a privilege subject to laws, rules and regulations as set out by the appropriate governing authorities. As far as I know, each state sets guidelines for driver’s licenses and marriage licenses. For example, the age one must reach before either will be issued to you is set by each state. Neither is a right.

January 2nd, 2009 at 4:04 pm

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