Saturday, December 15, 2007

My Weekly Standard article, Mormons, Muslims, Multiculturalism

(I am indeed taking a break from blogging, but I do plan to use this blog as a way of making available things I am writing and publishing, as well as the occasional announcement of other things.)

I have a new piece in the Weekly Standard, December 24, 2007 issue, titled Mormons, Muslims, and Multiculturalism: The Deeply Dispiriting Romney-Huckabee Religion Showdown.  You can find it at the Weekly Standard, open link, here.

(PS.  I respond to Michael Novak's blatant misreading of my article (it appears in a quick drive-by attack in a National Review article) in a letter to the editor posted to the blog here, including links to Novak's article.)

(PPS.  Looking at some comments and links people have put to Amazon and elsewhere - Kenneth Anderson is a pretty common name, so be aware that I am not the author of any books on Mormonism or religion or anything like that.  Also not the Kenneth Anderson who blogs at the Brad Blog or Bonehead Compendium.  I'm also not, alas, the wonderful author of the books on India, a descendent of that British general in WWII, the great African-American singer, the Harvard medical school professor, etc., etc.  (I'm also not the Kenneth Anderson convicted recently of child molestation in some public school in the midwest.  Amazing what you find when you google a common name like mine.)  Also, if I might make a suggestion - actually reading my article, although it is long, is a pretty good idea before thinking to comment.  You can get to it through the link to the Weekly Standard.)

The essay is very long - some 5-6,000 words, in fact - and I am very grateful to the Weekly Standard, and my editor Richard Starr in particular, for giving me such a sizable amount of space for this essay.  As will be evident, oh, two sentences into the piece, I was quite angry when I wrote it - angry that there really does appear to be 30% or so of this country that is prepared to vote against someone - not my candidate - solely on account of their religion.  Not aspects of that person's religion that have to do with public policy, but simply the religion itself and its most un-public policy, un-governance related aspects of it.  So I did not hesitate to lampoon the evangelicals who are displaying this season such remarkable religious bigotry.

That said, the fact that I can lampoon them, fairly nastily, and know that at most they will leave rude blog comments - rather than firebombing my house - is a credit to them.  It should not really be such a great credit to anyone, of course, that on account of angry or offensive speech, you forbear from killing them (wow! such restraint!), but these days I suppose you take what you can get.

The essay also sharply attacks Mitt Romney's Mormon speech - not on the usual liberal grounds that he left out the unbelievers, which I think it is true and wrong but not actually the greatest wrong of that speech - but instead on the grounds that he offers the country a sort of conservative multiculturalism, a conservative moral relativism, that puts his and everyone else's religion entirely beyond discussion.

That multiculturalism, while leaving Romney maximum ability to deflect questions of religion, is wrong because there are in fact important questions of religion that do need to be asked of candidates.  And many of them need to be asked if, and at some point in time - as I deeply hope, will in fact be one of these days - that there are Muslims in America who, again as I deeply hope, will think that they have as much reason to be president as any other person does.  Multiculturalism says that any questions about any of this are illegitimate, and that is both wrong and a practical disaster because it precludes the possibility of true integration and assimilation into the political culture.

Well, you can judge for yourself.  It does manage to attack evangelicals, Mormons, Muslims, and Christopher Hitchens, which is why it is so long.  I apologize to all those I left out as targets; perhaps next time.  It is available at the Weekly Standard, and I look forward to the debate that I hope will follow.

I don't actually write very much about Mormons and Mormonism.  However, I have written two review essays, both back in the 1990s, one for the Times Literary Supplement, here, and the other for the Los Angeles Times Book Review, here.  The links are to SSRN, and you can download the pdfs free from that site if you like.

Here is a bit of the Weekly Standard essay:


Now consider Mitt Romney’s speech and the answer he
gave to the matter of religious tests. Leave aside the whining
secularists who complain that Romney left no place
for unbelievers in the Republic. Correct and not of unconcern
by any means, but frankly far less important than the
question of multiculturalism; and anyway, one may trust
left secularists to look after their interests in such matters.
No, the much more important matter was that Romney
announced what might be called, appallingly, “conservative
multiculturalism”—indeed, a form of conservative
moral relativism. If the demand of the evangelicals was
all‑in, then his answer was all-out.

To be sure, there was something good and liberal in
part of his answer, and we should start with that. Romney
said—correctly as a matter of deep liberalism—that for
him to give representations as to the content of his faith
would make him a representative of that faith, rather than
of the people, who are of many faiths. To do so would be
to head down the path of communalism, a political space
defined not by a religiously neutral public sphere but by
a division accepted as reasonably legitimate consisting of
groups—religious, ethnic, whatever—that have claims on
behalf of their immutably identified members. This is, by
the way, the relatively humane (in historical perspective),
but altogether illiberal political order of the Ottoman
Empire. It is what many Muslims from those historical
lands appear to think would be the best and natural political
order in the lands to which they have emigrated—Canada,
for example (which anyway has its own powerfully
illiberal forces driving toward group-identity communalism),
and, increasingly, Britain. It is not—at least not so
far—the American way, and Romney was right firmly to
reject it.

But he did so, unfortunately, in a typically Romneylike
way, with a corrupt little wink-and-nod to his evangelical
inquisitors—oh, but don’t worry, “I believe that Jesus
Christ is the Son of God and the Savior of mankind,” etc.;
just don’t ask me about Mormon underwear. It is corrupt
not because it is untrue, but because it aims to let him eat
his cake and have it, too. He rejected demands to explain
his faith, but did so while letting his interlocutors know
that he was really one of them. Too clever by half, in the
end, because they will not actually believe him, but this
is what comes of positions of moral conviction devised by
management consultants.

The “all-out” answer that Romney gave was the denial
that citizens might ever legitimately and ethically demand
to know the content of religious doctrines professed by a
candidate for public office. (“Each religion has its own
unique doctrines and history. These are not bases for criticism
but rather a test of our tolerance.”) It is multiculturalist
because it essentially treats all private beliefs as immutable
and beyond reason, and because it says that to propose
to subject any of them to public scrutiny of reason is an act
of intolerance akin to racism. It is a position traditionally
asserted by the left on behalf of its identity-politics constituencies.
It is dismaying, to say the least, that Romney would
claim it for his own to deny the legitimacy of all questions.

It is, moreover, relativist in implication. Toleration is
not an assertion of relativism. It is, rather, the forbearance
from judging and acting on judgments in the public sphere
that one might well believe oneself entitled to make in private.
Toleration entails the suspension of public disbelief,
or at least political action thereupon, about matters that
one might nonetheless consider well within the realm of
private moral judgment. Relativism, by contrast, is denial
of grounds for judging at all. They could not be more different—
and, crucially, relativism removes the possibility
of toleration because it removes the possibility of reasoned

Romney’s “all-out” stance goes well beyond a plea for
liberal toleration to an assertion of genuine relativism and
the denial of the very possibility of moral judgment. And
all of this in the midst of a lecture on the decline of religion
in Europe. But of course it is not declining, it is rising
in the form of an Islam whose liberal commitments are in
doubt at best. Romney answered as a Mormon looking for
maximum room to maneuver, but seemingly without any
thought whatsoever to the institutional settlement implicitly
proposed, affecting not just Mormons and evangelicals,
but Catholics and Buddhists and Muslims and Hindus,
as well as the unbelievers and atheists he could not bring
himself to mention.

And then toward the end:

The firm demand of the state for conformity to neutral
standards is what—contrary to the claims of the multiculturalists—
provides the grounds of liberal toleration. There are many reasons, but the simplest is this: Taken together, the demands of religious groups for ever stronger and expansive special accommodations must eventually result in profound and antagonistic standoffs and conflicts.
Indeed, we have gone too far with special accommodations for religions that depart from neutral governance.


(Thanks to Ms. Althouse for the link, here.  And welcome Instapunditeers, and thanks Glenn!  Thanks also to Sandy Levinson for the link from Balkinization.  And to Andrew Sullivan for calling this essay, um, "ornerily brilliant."  Thanks also to Powerline, who correctly describe me as a Powerline reader, here.  Also Peter Leithart.  And Andrea Urseem at ReligionWriter.) 


Tom Jones said...

If you are, as you say, a former Mormon, I'm surprized that you are not at least aware of the anti-Christian nature of Mormonism. How can Christians be called bigotted for being against that which condemns them on false pretenses? If it were not for the LDS Church's claims that Christianity were completely apostate, they would have no reason to exist — by their own admission.

And, while Mormonism has not had a charismatic leader at the helm for many years, they are still hiding, covering up, and patching up the errors of Smith and Young. And, what's worse, they are still being very clandestine about their true doctrines in public (i.e., the belief that God was once a man like us and we can become Gods, in the same sense that God is God). I have asked many Mormon Missionaries to be upfront about this "first principle" of Mormonism (according to Smith) and they have consistently followed their leaders in denying it to anyone who has not been baptized into their church.

Why should Christians not distrust someone who is not willing to own up to what he believes in public. And, given the mountains of evidence against Mormonism (i.e., the gross contradictions between their original "scriptures" which teach the same attributes of God as the Bible, and today's LDS "scriptures" which teach about a completely different God), why should we not be leery of one who is gullible enough to continue to believe it. Can such a man be wise enough to govern our country — and lead the world?

If we study this out and come to the conclusion that Romney is unfit to serve as our President because of the important distinctions just mentioned above, are we bigotted?

To consider some of the evidence (or refresh your memory if you were once aware of it) you might want to refer to some concise but well documented comparisons between Christianity and Original Mormonism and Modern Mormonism. These can be found at and

Anonymous said...

Huckabee wants everyone to think it was an innocent question, but he knew what he was doing, just as surely as he knew the answer to the question he asked.

When Huck states that he is unfamiliar with contriversial Mormon teachings, why do you believe him? Have you been to the Southern Baptist Convention website? There is Anti-Mormon stuff all over the place.

But here is the real clincher - Huck was the KEYNOTE speaker at the SBC conference in 1998 (while serving as governor) that was held in . . . .

Everyone at the conference recieved a book - Moronism Unmasked.

It is beyond naive to suggest that Huck has not studied Mormonism, and knows exactly what points of doctrine to raise to divide traditional christians.

He did it on purpose, but for what purpose you say?

Simply stated, evangelicals belileve Mormonism is a cult. Huckabee had just stated that he did not think it a cult, but rather that Mormanism was a bona fide religion!!!

That would be big news, and might have turned off some of his ardent anti-mormon supporters.
(such as

He did not want to give too strong an endorsment of Mormonism, less any Baptist should get curious and want to talk to the Mormon missionaries.

So then he UNPROMPTED offered his infamous little valentine to his true believers, “Don’t they believe . . . .”

It’s so perfect it had to be calculated - or a deep seated anti-mormon bias he has held for so long that he was unable to control himself. A coded message: "I say they are a religion, but we know they are really satan worshipers."

What I do not see if how serious Republicans continue to want to put him in charge of the federal government.

It looks like blatant tribalism. i.e. “I want one of my tribe to get the glory!”

This is not the American Idol of pastors or churches. This is the guy that will have to deal with the MOST challenging foreign policy situation ever faced by an incoming president.

I listen to Huckabee and try to see beyond the disarming humor - to the man that would be king, and reason leads me to choose another.

denton said...

I'm an active and practicing member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

And I think Romney's speech missed the mark.

I think a much more approriate response would be:

This country is holding a election, which is our method of hiring a new administrator. In what other job interview would a person's religion, or lack thereof be an issue? The issue here is who is a capable administrator, and I have shown that I am. I hold deep personal beliefs, but those are irrelevant to this issue.

If you do worry about how my religion might influence my presidency, then let me state two relevant beliefs of my church.

1. We claim the privilege of worshipping Almight God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege. Let them worship how, when, or what they may.

In short, in my capacity as President, I don't care if you're religious, irrelegious, or anti-religious, Christian, Sikh, Buddist, atheist, agonstic, or Jew. I'm there to administer the affairs of the Executive Branch, and I don't even care to know about your personal beliefs. They are irrelevant.

2. We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, and in doing good to all men.

In all cases, for all people, my intent is to do good. Unless someone makes it impossible, I intend to treat all people with respect, and to personally respect simple human dignity. I will speak the truth as I know it, and I will be faithful to my wife.

Other than that, I'm a pretty ordinary, but exceptionally capable administrator.

D Boyd said...

I share your fury at many of my fellow Evangelicals. It seems like it is just the plain bigotry you address.

Keep in mind though that it's not just "some" "conservative" "evangelical" "right-wing" Christians who find Mormonism to be non-Christian. You would be hard-pressed to find a Protestant denomination and certainly no Catholic who would disagree with the proposition that the Mormon church's theology is not Christian. I have met many Mormons who I thought were but their Church is not. (That's different than your trope example of having Mormons without Mormonism.) But then Christians don't think Jews or Muslims are Christian either. This position can and should be just descriptive and not honorific. It can be right or wrong without doing harm. And it certainly has nothing to do with being President. If it did one would be just as consistant in praying for a Jimmy Carter comeback (the horror).
As for me, I saw him speak in my town some months back. As he said, he isn't running for Pastor-in-chief. He isn't my first choice for other reasons but if he is nominated I'll be voting for him.

edge said...

A simple response to every one of you about being a believer. Do you believe the sun will come up tomorrow?. If you do, you are a person who bases his life on faith. Past results do not dictate future performance, remember?
As to LDS people dismissing all of Chistianity as apostate, I am told all members of the LDS church are going to hell for their beliefs. Curious thing, I never heard a LDS person say that.
My mother taught me "People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones." I try to live that. One last thing, the act of finger pointing normally leaves 3 times as many fingers pointed back at you. When you are sinless then cast the first stone, otherwise, back off.

newscaper said...

First off, I'd add that the ROmney speech is being used opportunistically by many on the left to bash the stereotypical RR Moral Majority evangelical types for bigotry -- all at the same time there's no way in hell they'd consider voting for a Mormon who took his beliefs seriously either.

As to Mormonism itself, I'm slightly conflicted as to the "cultish" aspects -- on the one hand *all* organized religions seemed like cults at one point in their history -- yet on the other for most of them that seems like a loong time ago, compared to the LDS (and Jehovah's Witnesses, etc)

I think I have a somewhat similar background to you in having gone from raised Catholic, to college atheist, and now back to agnostic who appreciates more and more elements of Catholicism rather than being hostile to it as so many former Catholics are.

Twenty years ago I did a paper in school on Mormonism, and felt that in many ways their beliefs about the afterlife are more humane (and the Witnesses too -- I had a JW friend explain it to me once) in that they are not ready to consign everyone who doesn't believe exactly as they do to burn in Hell forever.

The only fly in the ointment was the fabricated feel to the whole enterprise (again, the recentness issue as well as silly fantasy of pre-Columbian America)) -- further aggravated by the history of airbrushing and revisionism about some of the earlier embarrassing teachings.

I appreciate your point about the decline in importance of the Prophet versus the evangelicals as well. From the [lapsed] Catholic
POV, I always see the evangelicals so fired up about the nefarious control by the Pope, but the point is, is that he's actually distant -- but keeps the local pastors and bishops from setting up their own fiefdoms. OTOH, on an everyday basis, many evangelicals grant their pastors far more day-to-day power than the Pope ever exercises over Catholics.

FWIW I have a sister who worked for Jim Bakker's PTL Club, and lived there at Heritage USA and the place definitely had a cultish "compound" air to it. Fortunately she left a year or two before it imploded, troubled by some of the monkey business. Goldplated doorknobs and the like were only part of it -- she saw first hand things such as the Bakkers letting some of his rich Jewish (i.e. non-Christian) friends adopt babies who'd been given over to the PTL's adoption agency with the proviso that they'd end up "in good Christian homes."

All the above aside, the basic values in terms of how Mormons live ARE obviously sound and good.

I guess my final muddled thought is in the middle: that Romney shouldn't be disqualified for being "different", but neither is a candidate's religion totally out of bounds, in the multi-culti relativist sense -- after all some religions are a helluva lot more totalitarian than others, in both the strict and usual senses (and you know which one I'm thinking of).

wGraves said...

I am not religious. My concern with religious declarations by candidates springs from the observation that Mr. Bush, apparently because of his personal religious convictions, establishes public policies based upon his religious views. These are views not shared by the majority of Americans. Thus I pay careful attention to a candidate's statements about the relationship of his personal religious views to his theory of governance. Personal religious belief may be quite relevant to governance, depending upon the approach of the individual candidate.

D Boyd said...

Another interesting view on this from Father Richard John Neuhaus, the editor of First Things:

"It is not an unreasonable prejudice for people who, unlike Alan Wolfe et al., care about true religion to take their concern about Mormonism into account in considering the candidacy of Mr. Romney. The question is not whether, as president, Mr. Romney would take orders from Salt Lake City. I doubt whether many people think he would. The questions are: Would a Mormon as president of the United States give greater credibility and prestige to Mormonism? The answer is almost certainly yes. Would it therefore help advance the missionary goals of what many view as a false religion? The answer is almost certainly yes. Is it legitimate for those Americans to take these questions into account in voting for a presidential nominee or candidate? The answer is certainly yes."

For many Evangelicals that yes answer can't be dismissed as just bigotry. They don't want to see the spread of a non-Christian faith at the expense of souls. I believe this line of logic is a bit of a streatch. Does anyone even know or care that Harry Reid is Mormon? While it certainly seems possible to have either view in good faith or in bad faith the pendulum seems way over towards bad right now.

BLBeamer said...

I enjoyed your article. I will withhold any comments until I have had a chance to digest it.

But, off topic question if I may: I have an acquaintance, also named Anderson, who is also a former Mormon and an author of this book.

I know it's a very long shot, but are you by any chance related?

vepxistqaosani said...

Given a Satanist politician who has shown that he does not let his religious beliefs affect his policies, would you vote for him if you agreed with his policies? Why or why not?

I think it incontrovertible that Mormonism (like Wicca and Scientology) are every bit as weird as Satanism -- and very much unlike other religions (yes, even Islam) which have real philosophical and theological heft to them. I myself am an Anglican, and can, I dare think, defend Anglicanisms against all comers in ways that Mormons, Wiccans, Scientologists, Satanists and such cannot.

Now, even given all that, voting for Romney is not exactly a vote for the Antichrist. There is no evidence at all that his religious beliefs affect his policies, just as there is no evidence that his principles (whatever they are) affect them.

kamatoa said...

I myself am an Anglican, and can, I dare think, defend Anglicanisms against all comers in ways that Mormons, Wiccans, Scientologists, Satanists and such cannot.

I, myself, am a Mormon who has been observing the developing schisms in Anglicanism. Anglicans can't even defend Anglicanism to the Episcopalians. Your theologizing apparently needs a bit more heft to be functional at all.

Meanwhile, grouping Mormonism in with various pagans and sci-fi groups shows not only theological ignorance, but bald intolerance of the first rank. It doesn't bother me that you tar my faith with that type of evil brush, but it puts a lie to the flim-flam notion that you're open-minded because you imply you'd vote for someone you consider a weirdo. Actual open-mindedness is more shown by Kenneth Anderson himself - though he rejected Mormonism, at least he knows it well enough to be accurate about it. If all of Mormonism's critics were as responsible, we'd have a real conversation, rather than ridiculous straw-man arguments about Satanism and other nonsense. If that's your notion of philosophical heft, then you're daft.

doc75 said...

Personally, I think we're getting pwned by the anti-religious left who is laughing their heads off that they got the Mormons and the evangelicals to beat up each other.

As much as it appears to be bigotry that some evangelicals won't vote for Romney (I'm not in that category), it's just as bigotrous (is that a word?) for people not to vote for Huckabee just because he is an evangelical.

I hate to say this, but the only way to get out of this mess is to have either McCain or Giuliani win the GOP primaries. Another alternative is to have a gigantic attitude adjustment on the right in regards to religion (quit calling evangelicals "yokels", start finding common ground with Mormons), but that isn't likely.

Fentriss said...

My concern with religious declarations by candidates springs from the observation that Mr. Bush, apparently because of his personal religious convictions, establishes public policies based upon his religious views.

Would you care to name some of those policies, instead of making a blanket statement?

vepxistqaosani said...

I dunno, Kamatoa, have _you_ read the Book of Mormon? It's a challenge, of course, being a subliterate's ignorant attempt to duplicate the style of 17th-Century English. No one could be blamed for failing to reach the end of the book. Still, the myths and stories of Scientology and Wicca are every bit as plausible -- and every bit as devoid of any shred of historical evidence.

Anglicanism is actually in pretty good shape, save among minority heretical groups in the UK and the US. But Mormons have their own schismatic groups ... as do all religions.

Bot said...

Christianity 101:

The Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) is often accused by Evangelical pastors of not believing in Christ and, therefore, not being a Christian religion. This article helps to clarify such misconceptions by examining early Christianity's comprehension of baptism, the Godhead, the deity of Jesus Christ and His Atonement.

The Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) adheres more closely to First Century Christianity and the New Testament than any other denomination. For example, Harper’s Bible Dictionary entry on the Trinity says “the formal doctrine of the Trinity as it was defined by the great church councils of the fourth and fifth centuries is not to be found in the New Testament.”

Perhaps the reason the pastors denigrate the Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) is to protect their flock (and their livelihood).

D Boyd said...

Bot's point above is the standard answer of the Mormon church but it is far from Christianity 101 for the rest - read that all - of Christiandom. To use another Neuhaus qoute: "The question as asked by Mormons is turned around: are non-Mormons who claim to be Christians in fact so? The emphatic and repeated answer of the Mormon scriptures and the official teaching of the LDS is that we are not. We are members of "the great and abominable church" that was built by frauds and imposters after the death of the first apostles. The true church and true Christianity simply went out of existence, except for its American Indian interlude, until it was rediscovered and reestablished by Joseph Smith in upstate New York, and its claims will be vindicated when Jesus returns, sooner rather than later, at a prophetically specified intersection in Jackson County, Missouri."

Considering the stakes here, both theological and political, it does not seem unreasonable for all those "greast and abomitable churches" to question this attitude or a person who belongs to the church that holds it.

I do think his speech addressed his position on religion in the office and I am satisfied with it. But while I am not going to hold this Mormon belief against Romney personally I can see how many in Christiandom don't want the prestige of the office applied to such beliefs.

Wacky Hermit said...

What if Father Richard John Neuhaus had said this instead, about Obama instead of Romney:

"It is not an unreasonable prejudice for people who... care about true race to take their concern about Blacks into account in considering the candidacy of Mr. Obama. The question is not whether, as president, Mr. Obama would take orders from Al Sharpton. I doubt whether many people think he would. The questions are: Would a Black as president of the United States give greater credibility and prestige to Blacks? The answer is almost certainly yes. Would it therefore help advance the goals of what many view as a sinful race? The answer is almost certainly yes. Is it legitimate for those Americans to take these questions into account in voting for a presidential nominee or candidate? The answer is certainly yes."

Now ask yourself honestly, is this bigotry?


DJordan said...

Excuse me if I am confused here, but why is it wrong for a religion to believe that they are the one true religion? I mean, it might be blunt to put it that way, but if a person does not believe his religion is the right one, shouldn't he join the one he think is? If God is Truth, would he have multiple "true" churches that teach varied doctrine? Truth isn't conditional. For example, some churches teach that you must be baptized to live with God. Others teach that that isn't required. Both groups claim that their view is God's, and if you follow their plan, you will get back to Him. They can't both be right. Yes, Mormons believe that theirs is the Church of Jesus Christ, and that the other churches are incorrect. They don't believe that the people in them are bad people, or that they are going to hell for acting on what they are taught. Other Churches think that they are correct. Necessarily, since there can only be one Truth, that means everyone else is wrong. Again, this isn't a bad thing, unless you decide that you being right and them being wrong means it is okay to persecute the other group.

D Boyd said...

"What if Father Richard John Neuhaus had said this instead, about Obama instead of Romney:"

Funny you should bring that up. Another quote from the same Neuhaus essay:

"A Mormon academic declares that asking our question "is a bit like asking if African Americans are human." No, it is not even a bit like that. "Christian" in this context is not honorific but descriptive. Nobody questions whether Mormons are human. To say that Jews, Muslims, or Buddhists are not Christians is no insult (me .. nor bigoted). It is a statement of fact, indeed of respect for their difference. The question is whether that is a fact and a difference that applies also to Mormonism."


DJordan said...

Are Mormons Christian? I guess that really depends on your definition of Christian. According to Mormons, of which I am one, we are Christian because we believe that Christ is the holy Son of God, who stands at the right hand of God, and is our only way to get back to God. We worship him as our savior. That is our definition of Christian. If your definition is narrower, in that you believe to be Christian means you believe the above, plus what ever was added on in the various councils through the ages, then Mormons don't fit that definition. But then, from a Catholics point of view, are Protestants Christian? I mean, they believe in Christ, and that he is the only way back to God, but they don't believe quite abit of stuff that was decided in those councils I mentioned. For the sake of peace, maybe we should just use the broad definition? Because, really, isn't Christ the most important part of our religions?

denton said...

"We are members of "the great and abominable church""

Who told you this nonsense? It is certainly not a teaching of the LDS Church.

If you want to criticize, or debate, find out the real teachings and debate those, rather than depending on willful pretenses invented and propagated by untruthful people.

TomGrey said...

Thanks for a great note, and a VERY important clarification of the difference between toleration and multiculturalism.

I hope the Pres. of Stanford sees it -- it's much better than his wimpy pro-free speech note (in Stanford Magazine).

[tiny typo: Capital T instead of I
Tt is therefore
maybe 3/4 thru the note.]

wGraves said...

Apologies for not responding. Since you asked for an example, try the Terri Schiavo incident. A reference is: ''. To wit: "Taking the Senate’s lead, the House early Monday passed a bill to let the woman’s parents ask a federal judge to prolong Schiavo’s life by reinserting her feeding tube. President Bush signed the measure less than an hour later." Now I ask you sir, which of the enumerated powers constitutionally granted the Congress and the President were employed when when Mr. Bush signed this legislation? It seems suspiciously like a personal religious judgement.

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