Berkeley CSUA MOTD:Entry 48835
Berkeley CSUA MOTD
2018/10/19 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular

2007/12/19-29 [Reference/Religion] UID:48835 Activity:nil
12/19   Ken Jennings weighs in on the Romney/Mormon thing
2018/10/19 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular

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Contact Wednesday, December 19, 2007 Politicians & pundits, please stop slandering my Mormon faith By KEN JENNINGS Wednesday, December 19th 2007, 4:00 AM Be Our Guest This is a strange season to be a Mormon. During my lifetime, I thought the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints had effectively mainstreamed itself. Being a Mormon was like being Canadian, or a vegetarian, or a unicyclist - it made you a bit of a conversation piece at dinner, but you didn't come in for any lip-curling scorn. Now, thanks to Mitt Romney's presidential campaign, I can read anti-Mormon screeds almost every day, both from the secular left and the evangelical right. Latter-day Saints are either a gullible joke or a satanic menace (or, if one can handle the cognitive dissonance, both). Romney has declined to get into specifics defending the faith. But this effectively cedes the field to his attackers, and may give the impression that he's staying silent because there are no good answers - or because he's not sincere about his beliefs. Take the question Mike Huckabee cannily used to make headlines: "Don't Mormons believe that Jesus and the Devil are brothers?" Huckabee was widely criticized and quickly apologized, but even the apology gave the wrong impression: that he'd somehow been impolite, and not that the whole slur was off base. The truth, Huck, is that Mormons believe that God is the Father of us all, which does, I guess, in some sense, make Jesus and Satan brothers. And by the same logic, we also believe that Moses and Orville Redenbacher and Attila the Hun and Neil Diamond are brothers. Then there was commentator Lawrence O'Donnell's bizarre anti-Mormon explosion on "The McLaughlin Group" this month. Instead, trying to clarify, he's dug himself an even deeper hole, calling Romney's Mormon forefathers "a long line of extreme rapists of teenage children." There are a lot of things you can say about the polygamy in early Latter-day Saint history, achapter many modern Mormons don't avidly defend. But O'Donnell's implicit charge - that the whole practice was a scam cooked up by dirty old men - is wrong. Early accounts show the church's founders, including Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, tearfully resisted "plural marriage." They complied not out of eagerness for some hot 19th century swinging, but from a conviction that an authentic Old Testament practice was being divinely restored. Many of these early marriages were primarily "dynastic" - ceremonial, that is, and not romantic or intimate in any way.