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could this be a mormon plot

jewish voice

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I seen and been reading about Glenn Beck and his new turn of heart and remaking his tv channel. I must say I really love his ideas of uplifting stories his bring Christ back into Christmas his some what pixar history house. It all sounds great.
I can't help wounder if this isn't all a Mormon plot to convert people to their faith. Kinda like a better byu channel. Do you think my gut feeling is wrong on this
 

AntoniousNikolas

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I don't know that much about Beck specifically, but I do think that Mormonism has been waging a PR war for a long time trying to convince American Christians that Mormonism is itself a part of Christianity and that Christians and Mormons worship the same God.  By "American Christians" I mean the rank-and-file of course, not the educated.  If you asked the average American Christian who buys Glenn Beck's books or tunes in to his show if Beck is a "Christian" or stands for "Christian values" many will likely say yes.  What does it matter to a Mormon if we keep "Christ in Christmas" if their Christ not our Christ but rather one of the children of a flesh and bone god - a man born on another planet - who conceived him through natural sex?

And yet the Mormons tell us:

We are Christians in a very real sense and that is coming to be more and more widely recognized. Once upon a time people everywhere said we are not Christians. They have come to recognize that we are, and that we have a very vital and dynamic religion based on the teachings of Jesus Christ. We, of course, accept Jesus Christ as our Leader, our King, our Savior...the dominant figure in the history of the world, the only perfect Man who ever walked the earth, the living Son of the living God. He is our Savior and our Redeemer through whose atoning sacrifice has come the opportunity of eternal life. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints pray and worship in the name of Jesus Christ. He is the center of our faith and the head of our Church. The Book of Mormon is Another Testament of Jesus Christ and witnesses of His divinity, His life, and His Atonement.
http://www.mormon.org/faq/mormon-christian

So, yes, I've also heard Glenn Beck self-identify as a "Christian".  It doesn't mean he is one though, since the Christian God was not a man born on the planet Kolob.  I think your instincts are on the money.  Mormonism wants to "mainstream" itself, and this is becoming easier in an increasingly shallow and simplistic America in which many people believe that the real battle is between "people of faith" (which would include anything that "looks Christian" to an American, like Mormonism, Adventism or Jehovah's Witnesses - but not Islam or Hinduism!) and atheism.  Again, in our increasingly shallow and stupid society, appearances are more important than substance.  I know quite a few Evangelicals and Pentecostals who are willing to give Jehovah's Witnesses and Seventh Day Adventists the benefit of the doubt when it comes to whether or not they're "Christian" - or at least have the discussion - but for whom the Roman Catholics are definitely not Christian.  A squeaky clean, white bread, Ned Flanders image trumps whether or not one worships the actual God of the Old and New Testament or a bizarre and fictional parody of that God.
 

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Antonious Nikolas said:
I don't know that much about Beck specifically, but I do think that Mormonism has been waging a PR war for a long time trying to convince American Christians that Mormonism is itself a part of Christianity and that Christians and Mormons worship the same God.  By "American Christians" I mean the rank-and-file of course, not the educated.  If you asked the average American Christian who buys Glenn Beck's books or tunes in to his show if Beck is a "Christian" or stands for "Christian values" many will likely say yes.  What does it matter to a Mormon if we keep "Christ in Christmas" if their Christ not our Christ but rather one of the children of a flesh and bone god - a man born on another planet - who conceived him through natural sex?

And yet the Mormons tell us:

We are Christians in a very real sense and that is coming to be more and more widely recognized. Once upon a time people everywhere said we are not Christians. They have come to recognize that we are, and that we have a very vital and dynamic religion based on the teachings of Jesus Christ. We, of course, accept Jesus Christ as our Leader, our King, our Savior...the dominant figure in the history of the world, the only perfect Man who ever walked the earth, the living Son of the living God. He is our Savior and our Redeemer through whose atoning sacrifice has come the opportunity of eternal life. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints pray and worship in the name of Jesus Christ. He is the center of our faith and the head of our Church. The Book of Mormon is Another Testament of Jesus Christ and witnesses of His divinity, His life, and His Atonement.
http://www.mormon.org/faq/mormon-christian

So, yes, I've also heard Glenn Beck self-identify as a "Christian".  It doesn't mean he is one though, since the Christian God was not a man born on the planet Kolob.  I think your instincts are on the money.  Mormonism wants to "mainstream" itself, and this is becoming easier in an increasingly shallow and simplistic America in which many people believe that the real battle is between "people of faith" (which would include anything that "looks Christian" to an American, like Mormonism, Adventism or Jehovah's Witnesses - but not Islam or Hinduism!) and atheism.  Again, in our increasingly shallow and stupid society, appearances are more important than substance.  I know quite a few Evangelicals and Pentecostals who are willing to give Jehovah's Witnesses and Seventh Day Adventists the benefit of the doubt when it comes to whether or not they're "Christian" - or at least have the discussion - but for whom the Roman Catholics are definitely not Christian.  A squeaky clean, white bread, Ned Flanders image trumps whether or not one worships the actual God of the Old and New Testament or a bizarre and fictional parody of that God.
I agree to me I see all these great ideas he has then somewhere along the line be trying to get people join the church of latter day saints. I know nothing about them really other than people say their a cult
 

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If the Mormons want to be accepted by the mainstream media, they need to remember that it's not the 1950s anymore, and there's no surer way to alienate the MSM than to present yourselves as well-groomed arch-WASP Middle Americans. They can use their weird cult status in their favor nowadays and play up their persecuted minority identity. Having strange non-traditional customs like polygamy is a plus. If they play their cards right, we'll soon be seeing the celebration of Mormon Awareness Month, affirmative action programs to correct the under-representation of Mormons in various professions and possibly even frank talk of federally-funded reparations for forcing them into exile back in the 19th century.
 

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Glenn Beck is crazy, whatever he says or does should be questioned.
 

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Recently, he said he has been suffering from a condition for a long time. I am not making fun of that. I hope he does get some type of help, if that's what he wants. http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Journalism/2014/11/11/Glen-Beck-Announces-Severe-Health-Problems-Talks-of-His-Life-Changing-Pivot-Point

(I apologize for talking about politics outside the politics forum, but I thought it was semi-relevant given the topic.)
 

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jewish voice said:
I know nothing about them really other than people say their a cult
So, examine their beliefs for yourself.  Let me know if they seem Christian to you.

I was trying to keep politics out of my replies and just deal with the issue of how Mormonism is trying to mainstream itself and pass as Christian, but I guess since Glenn Beck was mentioned in the OP I guess it's inevitable that this thread will be cast into politics.

Jonathan Gress said:
If the Mormons want to be accepted by the mainstream media, they need to remember that it's not the 1950s anymore, and there's no surer way to alienate the MSM than to present yourselves as well-groomed arch-WASP Middle Americans.
That's exactly what most of them are though.

Jonathan Gress said:
They can use their weird cult status in their favor nowadays and play up their persecuted minority identity.
You're barking up the wrong tree.  They're not interested in courting the political left, they're interested in courting the political right.  Besides, "weird cults" are something that creep everyone out, regardless of their political orientation.

Jonathan Gress said:
Having strange non-traditional customs like polygamy is a plus.
Nah, it's a minus all around.  For those on the right, polygamy flies in the face of the traditional definition of marriage.  For those on the left, it smacks of a male dominated hierarchy and ownership of women.  There's no good way to spin a harem in America.

Jonathan Gress said:
If they play their cards right, we'll soon be seeing the celebration of Mormon Awareness Month, affirmative action programs to correct the under-representation of Mormons in various professions and possibly even frank talk of federally-funded reparations for forcing them into exile back in the 19th century.
I doubt it.  People whose ancestors have been through far worse than what the Mormons endured haven't had much luck in getting reparations or even igniting any serious discussion thereof.  Besides, like I said, they're gonna be unpopular all around.  To the Evangelical right, they're a non-Christian cult.  To the left, they're a white male dominated, polygamous freak show who until the late 1970s banned blacks from entering into their "priesthood",  taught that black skin was the result of a curse, and that good black people would become white in heaven, and (as of last year) still discouraged "race-mixing" and even marrying below one's class among their youth.  No, their best bet is doing exactly what they're doing: trying to convince the Evangelical right that they're Christian too.
 

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Antonious Nikolas said:
jewish voice said:
I know nothing about them really other than people say their a cult
So, examine their beliefs for yourself.  Let me know if they seem Christian to you.

I was trying to keep politics out of my replies and just deal with the issue of how Mormonism is trying to mainstream itself and pass as Christian, but I guess since Glenn Beck was mentioned in the OP I guess it's inevitable that this thread will be cast into politics.

Jonathan Gress said:
If the Mormons want to be accepted by the mainstream media, they need to remember that it's not the 1950s anymore, and there's no surer way to alienate the MSM than to present yourselves as well-groomed arch-WASP Middle Americans.
That's exactly what most of them are though.

Jonathan Gress said:
They can use their weird cult status in their favor nowadays and play up their persecuted minority identity.
You're barking up the wrong tree.  They're not interested in courting the political left, they're interested in courting the political right.  Besides, "weird cults" are something that creep everyone out, regardless of their political orientation.

Jonathan Gress said:
Having strange non-traditional customs like polygamy is a plus.
Nah, it's a minus all around.  For those on the right, polygamy flies in the face of the traditional definition of marriage.  For those on the left, it smacks of a male dominated hierarchy and ownership of women.  There's no good way to spin a harem in America.

Jonathan Gress said:
If they play their cards right, we'll soon be seeing the celebration of Mormon Awareness Month, affirmative action programs to correct the under-representation of Mormons in various professions and possibly even frank talk of federally-funded reparations for forcing them into exile back in the 19th century.
I doubt it.  People whose ancestors have been through far worse than what the Mormons endured haven't had much luck in getting reparations or even igniting any serious discussion thereof.  Besides, like I said, they're gonna be unpopular all around.  To the Evangelical right, they're a non-Christian cult.  To the left, they're a white male dominated, polygamous freak show who until the late 1970s banned blacks from entering into their "priesthood",  taught that black skin was the result of a curse, and that good black people would become white in heaven, and (as of last year) still discouraged "race-mixing" and even marrying below one's class among their youth.  No, their best bet is doing exactly what they're doing: trying to convince the Evangelical right that they're Christian too.
Identity is as much about how you present yourself as the genes you're born with. As you note, the Mormons have ended up courting the right and presenting themselves as respectable Republicans, so the Left and most respectable media outlets hate them, even though they have many characteristics that could easily qualify them for sacred victimhood status and all the associated government perks, if their leaders decided that this was the better way to promote themselves.

As for "weird cult", that indeed is what I consider them, but then I consider the Muslims a weird cult, too, yet the Left has determined that Muslims are a protected minority and that the chief danger is "Islamophobia" rather than Islam. Never mind their retrograde misogyny and homophobia; that's not what counts in the victimhood sweepstakes. It's not about ideological consistency but playing the media game right so that you're the "who" in the "who/whom".

But I think you're probably right. It would take a huge effort to change their Straight White Male image in order to please the Left and they probably reckon the Right still has enough political oomph not to make the shift worth that effort.
 

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Jonathan Gress said:
Identity is as much about how you present yourself as the genes you're born with.
True, but re-branding an entire religion without compromising its actual beliefs would be a difficult proposition at best.  Unrealistic if you ask me.  Mormonism (like Islam) is a conservative beast by nature, just conservative in a different way than Evangelical Christianity.

Jonathan Gress said:
As you note, the Mormons have ended up courting the right and presenting themselves as respectable Republicans, so the Left and most respectable media outlets hate them, even though they have many characteristics that could easily qualify them for sacred victimhood status and all the associated government perks, if their leaders decided that this was the better way to promote themselves.
I don't think this is the case.  I don't think that the mainstream media is any more hostile to Mormonism than it is to other religions.  The media seems to me to be anti-religion in general, whether those religions have aligned themselves with the political right or not.  I've noticed that a cleric of any stripe involved in a scandal - whether he's a liberal Lutheran or a conservative Baptist - gets nailed to the wall a lot faster than a secular CEO accused of the same crime, and stays in regular rotation a lot longer too.  I don't think that it would be realistic for the Mormons to aspire to "sacred victimhood" status either, as most people wouldn't buy it from a group of rich white guys who discourage their kids from dating outside of their "race" and economic class.

Jonathan Gress said:
As for "weird cult", that indeed is what I consider them, but then I consider the Muslims a weird cult, too, yet the Left has determined that Muslims are a protected minority and that the chief danger is "Islamophobia" rather than Islam. Never mind their retrograde misogyny and homophobia; that's not what counts in the victimhood sweepstakes. It's not about ideological consistency but playing the media game right so that you're the "who" in the "who/whom".
I'm definitely with you as far as the barbarism of Islam is concerned, but it does seem to me that the mainstream media is increasingly critical of them as well, using their extremism to tar everyone with the general "religion is bad" brush.

Jonathan Gress said:
But I think you're probably right. It would take a huge effort to change their Straight White Male image in order to please the Left and they probably reckon the Right still has enough political oomph not to make the shift worth that effort.
This assumes that they are disingenuous enough to do so, which might be true, since they only had a "divine revelation" about admitting blacks to their "priesthood" after the political winds shifted in the USA after the Civil Rights Movement.  Giving them the benefit of the doubt, however, it could be that what you describe above is just a part of who they are, and that they would be unwilling to sacrifice that character to please the left, even if the right loses its oomph.
 

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There are some media figures who are consistent in their contempt for all religion, including Islam, e.g. Bill Maher. I think they're wrong, but I always respect consistency and having the courage of one's convictions. But I still say that liberals and the left are mostly characterized by an opportunism that approves of any religion that defines itself in opposition to the core culture, i.e. straight white Christians, while demonizing any religion that identifies itself with that core culture. The Islamophobia of the New Atheists is the exception rather than the rule.

Scott Alexander over at slatestarcodex.com had an interesting post where he mentions that his left-wing friends got really mad at him when he expressed happiness at bin Laden's death, but then a year later the same people were all whooping with joy at Thatcher's demise. Alexander is pretty left-wing himself, but he has an admirable degree of self-awareness.
 

AntoniousNikolas

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I don't concern myself nearly as much as you do with American politics, and truthfully, I don't know who or what half of these websites and pundits you mention are.  [In another thread, you attempted a burn on me saying something along the lines of "This isn't salon.com.  We don't appreciate that here".  (Or some such.  I'm paraphrasing.)  I had to google the site to see what you were referring to.]  You may be exposed to more radical elements of the media on the left or right than I am by virtue of your interest in this sort of thing, but in my admittedly limited experience (relatively speaking), I'm not seeing what you're seeing.  As I said though, I'm not a big politico like you are.  I don't need the agita.  You could also be viewing things through an entirely different lens than I do based on what I take to be our radically disparate backgrounds.
 

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Antonious Nikolas said:
I don't concern myself nearly as much as you do with American politics, and truthfully, I don't know who or what half of these websites and pundits you mention are.  [In another thread, you attempted a burn on me saying something along the lines of "This isn't salon.com.  We don't appreciate that here".  (Or some such.  I'm paraphrasing.)  I had to google the site to see what you were referring to.]  You may be exposed to more radical elements of the media on the left or right than I am by virtue of your interest in this sort of thing, but in my admittedly limited experience (relatively speaking), I'm not seeing what you're seeing.  As I said though, I'm not a big politico like you are.  I don't need the agita.  You could also be viewing things through an entirely different lens than I do based on what I take to be our radically disparate backgrounds.
OK that's cool (though I do remember you pointing me to articles about racism in Salon, though it might have been Slate; I confuse the two occasionally). I suppose when it comes to Mormonism, it seems extremely fashionable to hate them, and I'm a contrarian by nature so that kind of fashionable hate tends to raise questions in my head as to whether they're really all that bad. I probably would hate them too if I lived in Utah, but having lived in a pretty left-wing university environment for a long time I don't see them as the main enemy. As it stands, they seem to have some wacky beliefs that make traditional Christianity look downright rationalist, but I have enough exposure to left-wing types to understand that we're all equally nuts to most liberals. And speaking as an anti-ecumenist, if they're theologically deluded, I would have to say the same about more conventional Christian denominations like Protestants and Catholics.

What's interesting in that even today there are plenty of otherwise syncretistic, Moral Majority-type evangelicals who want nothing to do with Mormons, just as there are many who still see Catholics as beyond the pale. This is despite the fact that, politically, all these groups see eye-to-eye on so many issues and you'd think would make common cause.
 

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Jonathan Gress said:
OK that's cool (though I do remember you pointing me to articles about racism in Salon, though it might have been Slate; I confuse the two occasionally).
If I did link to an article on one of those sites during one of our discussions (which is possible) it's not because I frequent them, but rather, during one of our chats about racism, I wanted to speak about something that stuck with me from my experiences during the pre-internet age (such as the murders of James Byrd or Yusef Hawkins) and had to search around for an online source to substantiate what I already knew (since I can't link to the period print material in my library).  I'm glad to know that's why you threw the reference at me though, and glad that I had a chance to clarify my stance.  I'm not really an apologist for the right or the left, but rather have my own moral compass (based on the Church's teachings) which aligns with the one on some issues and the other on others.

Jonathan Gress said:
I suppose when it comes to Mormonism, it seems extremely fashionable to hate them, and I'm a contrarian by nature so that kind of fashionable hate tends to raise questions in my head as to whether they're really all that bad. I probably would hate them too if I lived in Utah, but having lived in a pretty left-wing university environment for a long time I don't see them as the main enemy.
That's understandable.  I don't hate them, for the record.  I simply don't appreciate their attempts to muddy the waters and pass themselves off as Christians.  I'm also none to pleased with the fact that most "religious" Americans adhere to so superficial a faith that so long as the name of Jesus is mentioned they're willing to accept any group as "Christian" (except, ironically traditional, liturgical churches) without question.

Jonathan Gress said:
As it stands, they seem to have some wacky beliefs that make traditional Christianity look downright rationalist, but I have enough exposure to left-wing types to understand that we're all equally nuts to most liberals. And speaking as an anti-ecumenist, if they're theologically deluded, I would have to say the same about more conventional Christian denominations like Protestants and Catholics.
You and I are of one accord here.

Jonathan Gress said:
What's interesting in that even today there are plenty of otherwise syncretistic, Moral Majority-type evangelicals who want nothing to do with Mormons, just as there are many who still see Catholics as beyond the pale. This is despite the fact that, politically, all these groups see eye-to-eye on so many issues and you'd think would make common cause.
I have to give these credit for at least placing their theological convictions ahead of political expediency.  I've read articles by some of these Evangelicals you're referencing, and for them the idea of having their children come to regard Mormons as "fellow Christians" is a more frightening proposition than anything the atheistic left can dish out.  I would tend to agree.
 

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I really disliked their advertising.  "I'm a Mormon."

My response:  "So?"
 

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Jonathan Gress said:
If the Mormons want to be accepted by the mainstream media, they need to remember that it's not the 1950s anymore, and there's no surer way to alienate the MSM than to present yourselves as well-groomed arch-WASP Middle Americans. They can use their weird cult status in their favor nowadays and play up their persecuted minority identity. Having strange non-traditional customs like polygamy is a plus. If they play their cards right, we'll soon be seeing the celebration of Mormon Awareness Month, affirmative action programs to correct the under-representation of Mormons in various professions and possibly even frank talk of federally-funded reparations for forcing them into exile back in the 19th century.
Spoken as someone who seems to know about weird cults and their attraction from experience.
 

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orthonorm said:
Jonathan Gress said:
If the Mormons want to be accepted by the mainstream media, they need to remember that it's not the 1950s anymore, and there's no surer way to alienate the MSM than to present yourselves as well-groomed arch-WASP Middle Americans. They can use their weird cult status in their favor nowadays and play up their persecuted minority identity. Having strange non-traditional customs like polygamy is a plus. If they play their cards right, we'll soon be seeing the celebration of Mormon Awareness Month, affirmative action programs to correct the under-representation of Mormons in various professions and possibly even frank talk of federally-funded reparations for forcing them into exile back in the 19th century.
Spoken as someone who seems to know about weird cults and their attraction from experience.
I admit it's true. I did have a New Atheist phase.
 

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hecma925 said:
I really disliked their advertising.  "I'm a Mormon."

My response:  "So?"
Considering that the number one obstacle to Orthodoxy in the USA is people not knowing it exists (or thinking it exists solely to hold Greekfests, etc.), perhaps having Orthodox ads on national TV wouldn't be such a bad idea?

I agree though that the Mormon ads are not a good example to follow. Perhaps an Orthodox ad could just show a beautiful scene from a cathedral with people chanting, or perhaps it could show an interesting anecdote from the life of a saint, followed by the words "Come and See" and a link to a website where you can find the nearest parish?

Ancient Faith Radio might be interested in doing something like that.
 

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Minnesotan said:
hecma925 said:
I really disliked their advertising.  "I'm a Mormon."

My response:  "So?"
Considering that the number one obstacle to Orthodoxy in the USA is people not knowing it exists (or thinking it exists solely to hold Greekfests, etc.), perhaps having Orthodox ads on national TV wouldn't be such a bad idea?

I agree though that the Mormon ads are not a good example to follow. Perhaps an Orthodox ad could just show a beautiful scene from a cathedral with people chanting, or perhaps it could show an interesting anecdote from the life of a saint, followed by the words "Come and See" and a link to a website where you can find the nearest parish?

Ancient Faith Radio might be interested in doing something like that.
your such an extremist you better watch those ideas of yours  ;) this is twice you done this now. 3rd time we just beat the protestant out of ya  :laugh:
 

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Jonathan Gress said:
arch-WASP
"Arch-WASR" might be more apt, although less easy to say.
 

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Antonious Nikolas said:
Jonathan Gress said:
Nephi said:
Jonathan Gress said:
arch-WASP
"Arch-WASR" might be more apt, although less easy to say.
What's WASR?
I don't know what they R stands for, but I take his point that they're not Protestant.
I'd hazard a guess that R stands for Restorationist.

The term Restorationist can be used to mean one of several loosely related movements originating in the United States during the 1800s. One is the Latter-Day Saint movement, of which Mormonism forms the largest branch (there are other branches that include Community of Christ, Bickertonites, etc.) Another is the Stone-Campbell movement, which gave rise to denominations like the Church of Christ and the Disciples of Christ. Adventism is sometimes classified under this umbrella as well.

These movements sought to "restore" the early church which they believed had fallen into heresy. Where they differed was how they thought this needed to be done. The LDS believed there needed to be prophets receiving continuing revelation from God. The Stone-Campbellites resorted to an extremely strict "nuda scriptura" approach, "reading the Scriptures as though no one had read in the wake of William Miller's failed doomsday prediction; they ended up coalescing around a single new self-proclaimed prophetess, Ellen White, who claimed that the prediction had been correct but only in a "spiritual" sense. They believe White had the unique ability to interpret Scripture and her own writings were equally inspired.

I've seen articles describing the Mormon ethos as rooted in Romanticism, because it stresses emotions and spiritual experiences over all else. In contrast, Campbellism is very rationalistic in keeping with Enlightenment ideals. Not sure where Adventism falls on this spectrum.
 

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Jonathan Gress said:
But I still say that liberals and the left are mostly characterized by an opportunism that approves of any religion that defines itself in opposition to the core culture, i.e. straight white Christians,
What about Ethiopia and the Middle East which were Christian before most white people ever were? I hate when religion becomes degraded into mere culture.

The Islamophobia of the New Atheists is the exception rather than the rule.
Bigotry is only acceptable when it's minority-on-minority I suppose. Although to be fair, I've discovered that most atheists are still stigmatized by both the Right and the Left alike--the former because they see them as godless criminals and the latter because they see them as intolerant bigots.
 

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Jonathan Gress said:
They can use their weird cult status in their favor nowadays and play up their persecuted minority identity.
They don't need to play it up since they are a persecuted minority (or at least were). Have you studied just how badly the United States treated the Mormons? I'm not saying they're not crazy far-rightist bigots, but Uncle Sam certainly wasn't very kind to them.

Having strange non-traditional customs like polygamy is a plus. If they play their cards right, we'll soon be seeing the celebration of Mormon Awareness Month, affirmative action programs to correct the under-representation of Mormons in various professions and possibly even frank talk of federally-funded reparations for forcing them into exile back in the 19th century.
Apart from the Mormon Awareness Month (those things are incredibly corny and stupid) that other stuff seems fair. It's restitution for what Uncle Sam did to them. However, Mormons seem to have done pretty well on their own as they've become a very wealthy and successful minority.

They're the Jews of America. That's why everyone hates them.
 

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Antonious Nikolas said:
they're gonna be unpopular all around.  To the Evangelical right, they're a non-Christian cult.  To the left, they're a white male dominated, polygamous freak show who until the late 1970s banned blacks from entering into their "priesthood",  taught that black skin was the result of a curse, and that good black people would become white in heaven, and (as of last year) still discouraged "race-mixing" and even marrying below one's class among their youth.
This.

The treatment of minority groups in America is a very interesting thing that evidently seems much more rooted in political gain than by genuine compassion given the inconsistency. Mormons are one of those strange groups. The Right hates them because as Protestants they're just one step weirder than Evangelicals, and the Left because they still too closely resemble Christianity and therefore conservatism. The former says they're not Christian enough and the latter says they're too Christian. Mormons don't have any natural political allies just yet. They're one of those weird groups like the Jews who nobody knows how to deal with. They have to fend for themselves and to a degree they've done surprisingly well at that--which makes people even more xenophobic and hateful toward them than before.
 

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jewish voice said:
I seen and been reading about Glenn Beck and his new turn of heart and remaking his tv channel. I must say I really love his ideas of uplifting stories his bring Christ back into Christmas his some what pixar history house. It all sounds great.
I can't help wounder if this isn't all a Mormon plot to convert people to their faith. Kinda like a better byu channel. Do you think my gut feeling is wrong on this
Whaaat?
Imagine pushing virtue into the public forum! Bringing folks back to what we initially are, religious!
Creating stories that uphold, uplift, inspire!
Yes, it is ALL those Christians trying spread that joy of a virtuous life with a knowledge of that 'God is Love' notion.
That's why they kill us.
So you want to start with the Mormons?
Get outta town.
 

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Below are some of the things that really get my passions in an uproar regarding Orthodoxy: judgment.
If folks wish to trade the truth for a lie, talk TO them, not about them, and rather talk/post, live the life that models what He asks us which is not just talk.
To many of my fellow Orthodox speak poorly of others in their religious life and that bothers me greatly.
We  do not denigrate those that are invalids; I would rather hear about the good that Orthodox brings to us, as oppose to studying others to find their faults.
Lord, forgive my foolish pride, but enough of this idle chatter.
=

Antonious Nikolas said:
I don't know that much about Beck specifically, but I do think that Mormonism has been waging a PR war for a long time trying to convince American Christians that Mormonism is itself a part of Christianity and that Christians and Mormons worship the same God.  By "American Christians" I mean the rank-and-file of course, not the educated.  If you asked the average American Christian who buys Glenn Beck's books or tunes in to his show if Beck is a "Christian" or stands for "Christian values" many will likely say yes.  What does it matter to a Mormon if we keep "Christ in Christmas" if their Christ not our Christ but rather one of the children of a flesh and bone god - a man born on another planet - who conceived him through natural sex?
And yet the Mormons tell us:
We are Christians in a very real sense and that is coming to be more and more widely recognized. Once upon a time people everywhere said we are not Christians. They have come to recognize that we are, and that we have a very vital and dynamic religion based on the teachings of Jesus Christ. We, of course, accept Jesus Christ as our Leader, our King, our Savior...the dominant figure in the history of the world, the only perfect Man who ever walked the earth, the living Son of the living God. He is our Savior and our Redeemer through whose atoning sacrifice has come the opportunity of eternal life. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints pray and worship in the name of Jesus Christ. He is the center of our faith and the head of our Church. The Book of Mormon is Another Testament of Jesus Christ and witnesses of His divinity, His life, and His Atonement.
http://www.mormon.org/faq/mormon-christian

So, yes, I've also heard Glenn Beck self-identify as a "Christian".  It doesn't mean he is one though, since the Christian God was not a man born on the planet Kolob.  I think your instincts are on the money.  Mormonism wants to "mainstream" itself, and this is becoming easier in an increasingly shallow and simplistic America in which many people believe that the real battle is between "people of faith" (which would include anything that "looks Christian" to an American, like Mormonism, Adventism or Jehovah's Witnesses - but not Islam or Hinduism!) and atheism.  Again, in our increasingly shallow and stupid society, appearances are more important than substance.  I know quite a few Evangelicals and Pentecostals who are willing to give Jehovah's Witnesses and Seventh Day Adventists the benefit of the doubt when it comes to whether or not they're "Christian" - or at least have the discussion - but for whom the Roman Catholics are definitely not Christian.  A squeaky clean, white bread, Ned Flanders image trumps whether or not one worships the actual God of the Old and New Testament or a bizarre and fictional parody of that God.
 

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LenInSebastopol said:
Below are some of the things that really get my passions in an uproar regarding Orthodoxy: judgment.
Well, perhaps you should work on quelling those passions.  Frankly, the faux-indignation routine you're expressing here is as irksome to me as the perceived "judgment" you're reading into my post is to you.  It's not fair to equate those who make distinctions between teachings and doctrines with those who presume to judge people's souls.  I've re-read my post as you've cited it below.  It definitely falls into the former category.  Nowhere did I say that Mormons were bad people or that they were going to hell.  What I said is simply that they are not Christians and that their god is not God.

Is it "judgment" to state that the god of Mormonism is not our God?  Let's examine his characteristics:

+He was born a man of flesh and blood on the planet Kolob.
+He conceives his children (plural) through natural sex with a number of wives.
+He is one of a number of gods, each of whom rules his own planet.

Stating that this is not our God and that those who worship this false deity aren't Christians isn't "judgment" in the sense that you're implying.  It's simply saying that this sort of imaginary deity isn't the Deity.  Neither is Odin or Shiva, but I don't presume to judge the souls of those who worship them.

LenInSebastopol said:
If folks wish to trade the truth for a lie, talk TO them, not about them,
This is a discussion board.  Someone asked a question about Mormons and we discussed their theology and attempts at mainstreaming in relation to the OP.

Analyzing the Mormon belief system is not "talking about" individual believers in the sense your words imply.  Further, non-Orthodox have always been welcome to discuss and debate theology to their heart's content on these boards.  Further still, discussing theology on these boards doesn't preclude the possibility of "talking to" people of other faiths on these boards or in real life.

LenInSebastopol said:
and rather talk/post, live the life that models what He asks us which is not just talk.
Don't presume to know what kind of lives we live based on what you're reading into our posts here.


LenInSebastopol said:
To many of my fellow Orthodox speak poorly of others in their religious life and that bothers me greatly.
Who here has spoken poorly of the spiritual lives of others?  Who pretends to know their piety, their prayer life, or what they do behind closed doors? Does this mean, however, that we can't examine their doctrine?  Does it mean that we should shun comparative theology as a form of "judgment"?

LenInSebastopol said:
We  do not denigrate those that are invalids; I would rather hear about the good that Orthodox brings to us, as oppose to studying others to find their faults.
Finding faults in theological traditions does not equate to finding fault with individuals or presuming to judge the state of their souls.

LenInSebastopol said:
Lord, forgive my foolish pride, but enough of this idle chatter.
Indeed.  Amen.

Did you follow your own advice here, Len?  You had a problem with my post, so did you heed your own words and "talk TO me not ABOUT me"?  Or did you decline to address me lovingly and directly, preferring instead to simply hold my post up before the world as an example of what not to do, an example of what enkindles your wrath and makes your blood boil? Did you heed your own call to refrain from engaging in such discussions at all opting instead to live an exemplary life and call me to repentance through your shining example? Or did you decide to launch into a diatribe and make a failed attempt at upbraiding me?
 

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Glenn Beck is a nutcase. I've listened to his show a few times. He has had some points on certain issues before, but I get the whole feeling that he's trying to be some kind of pseudo-prophet or something. He killed me when he said that the American Constitution was divinely inspired like scripture.

PP
 

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primuspilus said:
Glenn Beck is a nutcase. I've listened to his show a few times. He has had some points on certain issues before, but I get the whole feeling that he's trying to be some kind of pseudo-prophet or something. He killed me when he said that the American Constitution was divinely inspired like scripture.

PP
There is no doubt that God has blessed countries and peoples here and there throughout history, even the US.  But Glenn Beck is only repeating a commonly-held American Evangelical political belief that the country exists by divine right.

 

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JamesR said:
Jonathan Gress said:
But I still say that liberals and the left are mostly characterized by an opportunism that approves of any religion that defines itself in opposition to the core culture, i.e. straight white Christians,
What about Ethiopia and the Middle East which were Christian before most white people ever were? I hate when religion becomes degraded into mere culture.

The Islamophobia of the New Atheists is the exception rather than the rule.
Bigotry is only acceptable when it's minority-on-minority I suppose. Although to be fair, I've discovered that most atheists are still stigmatized by both the Right and the Left alike--the former because they see them as godless criminals and the latter because they see them as intolerant bigots.
You have a very valid point about religion and culture or ethnicity, at least when we're talking about Christianity, which should be universal. I'm referring particularly to Western political contexts, where being "Christian" is associated strongly with the native, or what I call "core" culture and ethnicity. Leftists who despise traditional Christian culture in these countries will understandably be much more tolerant of religions and cultures that aren't so associated, even if they use anti-religious arguments to attack Christianity. It shows they are motivated less by a principled opposition to religion that by a more visceral hatred for their own traditions. It's simply opportunism, the mirror image of when evangelical voters support a Mormon or Catholic candidate because they agree on moral issues.
 

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JamesR said:
Jonathan Gress said:
They can use their weird cult status in their favor nowadays and play up their persecuted minority identity.
They don't need to play it up since they are a persecuted minority (or at least were). Have you studied just how badly the United States treated the Mormons? I'm not saying they're not crazy far-rightist bigots, but Uncle Sam certainly wasn't very kind to them.

Having strange non-traditional customs like polygamy is a plus. If they play their cards right, we'll soon be seeing the celebration of Mormon Awareness Month, affirmative action programs to correct the under-representation of Mormons in various professions and possibly even frank talk of federally-funded reparations for forcing them into exile back in the 19th century.
Apart from the Mormon Awareness Month (those things are incredibly corny and stupid) that other stuff seems fair. It's restitution for what Uncle Sam did to them. However, Mormons seem to have done pretty well on their own as they've become a very wealthy and successful minority.

They're the Jews of America. That's why everyone hates them.
If the Mormons are the Jews of America, does that make the Jews the Mormons of America?

But seriously, I think you have a point. The Jews have been a bit better at continuing to portray themselves as sacred victims, hence reluctance of American media to criticize Israel etc. But it's true that they and the Mormons have been very successful and taken full advantage of their freedom to get ahead. They haven't needed affirmative action programs to acquire high status that was previously denied to them. Less successful people are naturally jealous of their success. The high status of the Chinese communities in Southeast Asia is similarly resented, and there they suffer from lots of official discrimination even today.
 

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JamesR said:
Antonious Nikolas said:
they're gonna be unpopular all around.  To the Evangelical right, they're a non-Christian cult.  To the left, they're a white male dominated, polygamous freak show who until the late 1970s banned blacks from entering into their "priesthood",  taught that black skin was the result of a curse, and that good black people would become white in heaven, and (as of last year) still discouraged "race-mixing" and even marrying below one's class among their youth.
This.

The treatment of minority groups in America is a very interesting thing that evidently seems much more rooted in political gain than by genuine compassion given the inconsistency. Mormons are one of those strange groups. The Right hates them because as Protestants they're just one step weirder than Evangelicals, and the Left because they still too closely resemble Christianity and therefore conservatism. The former says they're not Christian enough and the latter says they're too Christian. Mormons don't have any natural political allies just yet. They're one of those weird groups like the Jews who nobody knows how to deal with. They have to fend for themselves and to a degree they've done surprisingly well at that--which makes people even more xenophobic and hateful toward them than before.
What's funny is everyone still chooses to hate them for being racist and polygamous even though they specifically renounced these teachings! I think what's really going on is the Left hates them for the same reasons they hate evangelicals and conservative people generally: the way they try so hard to present their 50s, Norman Rockwell image to the rest of the country. Everything the Left despises about America the Mormons gleefully embrace.
 

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What's funny is everyone still chooses to hate them for being racist and polygamous even though they specifically renounced these teachings!
They didn't renounce them as some reformation of their faith, they renounced it so Utah could become part of the Union. This is no more evident than the recent news concerning Mr. Smith.

PP
 

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Also, what with the recognition of "polyamory" as another sexual orientation, what exactly is so bad about polygamy? It's not about the "what" I think; it's about the "who". Polygamy is bad when Republican-voting Mormons do it; it's fine when Democrat-voting hipsters do it.
 

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primuspilus said:
What's funny is everyone still chooses to hate them for being racist and polygamous even though they specifically renounced these teachings!
They didn't renounce them as some reformation of their faith, they renounced it so Utah could become part of the Union. This is no more evident than the recent news concerning Mr. Smith.

PP
Who is Mr Smith? And sorry, they did renounce it, which is why Mormon polygamists have had to form their own church.
 

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Who is Mr Smith?
Joseph SMith. The founder of Mormonism. The Mormons pushed this idea that he was a monogamist who deeply loved his wife. however last week people uncovered that he had over 40 wives and consumated with most of them. The Mormons have come out and stated that these findings are correct.

And sorry, they did renounce it
So Utah could become a state. This really isnt hard to find. Its right on the Utah wikipedia page. Its no big secret.

which is why Mormon polygamists have had to form their own church
So? It doesnt change the fact that the Mormons renounced polygamy for political, not spiritual reasons. Which is why the LDS are "reconsidering" their stance on polygamy...especially after recent polygamist victories in court.

PP
 

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primuspilus said:
Who is Mr Smith?
Joseph SMith. The founder of Mormonism. The Mormons pushed this idea that he was a monogamist who deeply loved his wife. however last week people uncovered that he had over 40 wives and consumated with most of them. The Mormons have come out and stated that these findings are correct.

And sorry, they did renounce it
So Utah could become a state. This really isnt hard to find. Its right on the Utah wikipedia page. Its no big secret.

which is why Mormon polygamists have had to form their own church
So? It doesnt change the fact that the Mormons renounced polygamy for political, not spiritual reasons. Which is why the LDS are "reconsidering" their stance on polygamy...especially after recent polygamist victories in court.

PP
Ah right Joseph Smith; I thought maybe you were talking about someone more recent.

Look, of course Mormonism is made up. But it seems disingenuous for the Left to attack for them for teachings that they have formally renounced. It's as if they can't find anything about contemporary Mormonism to fix on, so they need to dig up these old defunct teachings.
 
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