I thought I could put this whole "I don't like the Mormon cult" thing to bed but someone of flesh and bone or perhaps a cyber "only" being calling himself Brad tried to haze me on the right path regarding my visceral disdain for Mormonism. I hope Brad scrolls through my blog once in awhile so he can read my retaliation that he so graciously predicted I'd spring from the ethos with. After reading Brad's response to my Glenn Beck piece he thinks I am both bigoted and wrong about Mormons not being Christians. Brad, please forward my article to Jeff Lindsay because your response to me though well intended and marginally drafted remains rather pedestrian on an intellectual level and I'm going to tell you why.
First, don't read too much into what I wrote in the Glenn Beck piece. Please just pull the factual truths from the words. I appreciate your disagreement with my philosophical tenets but calling me an idiot isn't exactly the best way to facilitate a scholarly argument. I am not recommending we revisit the Crusade-like hatred against Mormons and their beliefs or to relive the persecutions in Missouri of 19th Century fare. I know lots of kind and gentle Mormons and completely agree that most live very productive and successful lives while striving for the model of ideal citizenship. Did I tell you that as I pen this rebuttle that I may be voting for Mitt Romney for President because of his conservative ideals and the fact he simply has the best hair of all the presidential candidates? All I said in the piece was that Mormonism begat Mormonism and have a bang up time believing in it if you want to but don't call it Christian. Keep reading Brad. I'll give you factual examples of why I can exclude it from Christianity while you lump the religion into orthodox Christian thought through a variety of petty rationalizations.
Let's use a political example to start. It is perfectly legitimate for a person within the privacy of their own heart and soul to question if he or she subjectively believes that Mitt Romney's Mormon beliefs may or may not influence or control his actions in such a way as to provide any concerns of merit about his governance and direct influence in our lives. Delving further into one's personal faith and belief in Christianity, it is also possible to define the basics of what makes you think your religion is "Christian" and what fundamentals of Mormonism make it not Christian. That is not bigotry. It is a sort of personal comparative analysis. Our government as a controlling body cannot impose any religious tests on its leaders but we can at the most private and intrapersonal level. If a radical Muslim ran for office on a platform of converting America to a rule of Sharia law and could run because of the protections provided in our Constitution against religious discrimination, would you vote for him? If you didn't vote for him would you be a bigot? You just fell into the first trap set by Mormon apologists. You pigeonholed or categorized me as a bigot for disagreeing about the fundamental construction of the Mormon and Christian relationship. This is the first example of why what I wrote and you disagreed with precludes me from being a bigot. I may be an idiot Brad but I disproved your bigot thesis. Now let's talk about the Christian versus Mormon argument in more detail,,,,,,,again.
First, being Christian-like doesn't make you a Christian. Whether you call Christianity a belief system or religion because it's the quickest way to differentiate your preference from other so-called mainstream religions like Islam, Hindu, Buddhism, and so on, simply calling yourself a Christian doesn't automatically adhere you to normative Christian ideology. Most of us that call ourselves mainstream Christians believe in some fundamental things that we believe cannot be manipulated by any other sect, Christian or otherwise. For one you made quite a production about my bad Christianity judging Mormons for having their own sacred texts while orthodox Christian religions have many versions of the same Bible. I think I just made my point there Brad. Normative Christian texts like the King James Bible may be variations of the exact same things while sacred Mormon texts are completely different works authored by "prophets" in modern times. Hmmm, doesn't ring a bell with any of the apostolic gospels to me Brad. I mean look at photograph at the top of this article. "Another Testament of Jesus Christ" has no place in orthodox Christian thought. There is only one testament in what we anti-Mormons call true Christianity and it is called the Holy Bible. Attack its variations if you will but understand we didn't take it upon ourselves to compose texts for a specific sect and have the audacity to call these "additions" Holy more than 1700 years after the deaths of Christ's apostles.
Brad, us dumb old orthodox Christians require just a couple of things to make salvation a reality. You can mostly jiggle it down to faith in Christ as your Lord and Savior and repentance. This is the extremely short version, I simply have too much to cover. Part of the requirement of making any religion accessible for a defense revolves around asking the question can you make the Holy texts fit into some type of historical apostolic context. In other words can we make the Bible fit the times and events of when it was written in context of the overall Christian philosophy. Score that argument as Christians 1, Mormons 0.
How can you call yourself Christian when your "religion" completely endorses modern day prophets or "apostles" and believe their words as Holy prophecy which by any interpretation stretches beyond the bounds of traditional Christian thought? Do we bigoted mainstream Christians reject the Holy Trinity or believe that the Holy Bible is corrupted through a loss of purity? Do we believe that the Holy Scriptual Canon was left open to interpretation of modern day prophets? I've checked my history Brad now you check yours. Ask a Mormon bishop if those outside of Mormonism are Christians. You will find that anyone claiming to be Christian outside the Mormon faith is considered by Mormons to be apostate and known in derogatory terms as Gentiles.
As far as history lessons go Brad you better dig into this issue a little deeper. Check into the validity of Joseph Smith's claims and literature because if Mormons are claiming those texts are Holy they better fit into some type of arguable historical context for the basic sake of validity. Did he copy nearly word for word in the Book of Mormon from previously published texts? Did Smith fraudulently make a boo-boo on the Egyptian funerary documents that were later hidden and translated as funeral rites and not the sacred texts of Abraham like Smith contended? I could go on and on but I'm tired of beating this Mormon argument to death. Is there anthropologic or archaelogic evidence to support the Mormon claim of their life in the "ancient" Americas? No, no, and no again. Mormonism is a choice, a religion, but not a Christian one. I'm not advocating harm or violence or even loud public degradations. Just don't belittle me for trying to convince you and Mormons in general that my views on normative Christianity will get us to heaven while the Mormon way won't. Believe me, they believe the same. You can't just lump your philosophy and force yourself to be included with others just because you accuse others of being bigoted if they refuse or disagree with your advances. Wise up and make sense man. Don't waste time with illogical justifications. It doesn't further the larger argument. I do appreciate the fact that you didn't ask me to go digging through Mormon doctrine for you. Whenever someone tries to discuss their opposition to Mormonism, the Mormons usually say something like "just read our doctrine." What difference does that make? It might make it true to you but serves as concrete proof to me that the whole foundation in that religion is an aberration. It's like saying black is blue and red is green because somebody wrote it on paper and said "accept this as fundamental reality." It doesn't hold water friend.