Mormonism: Crimes and Constitutional Rights

by parkay on June 2, 2012

in Mormonism - Appearances can be Deceptive

Last night I received an unsolicited text message from “Morrow.” It arrived while I was texting a message to my 18 year-old son. The lengthy spam set forth dozens of links to news articles, chronicled ostensible Mormon “hate crimes,” and listed incidents of vandalism, graffiti, assault and battery and arson over the past decade or so committed against LDS property and some Mormon individuals. It appears that a formal organization has been created to deal with this ‘problem.’ Morrow writes: “The society for the Prevention of Anti-Mormonism tracks instances of vandalism, violence and persecution against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its members.”

Morrow then writes that: “Few people outside the Church have any appreciation of the level of hostility that is leveled at the Church.” Among the extensive list of crimes in the text message is the notation: “19 November, 2008, South Park creators announce “Mormon Musical,” which ridicules latter-day saints.” Morrows spam list, is an attempt to include legitimate literary and artistic criticism with crimes against Mormons. It is an excellent example of the logical fallacy known as hasty generalization. Morrow implies that all the activities which he lists must be criminal, hateful or despicable. The error is in his premise and his implied conclusion is without sufficient foundation. To equate legitimate statements, articles, blogs, publications and even Broadway musical parodies with criminal activity is simply sloppy thinking. Such a broad, over-reaching, inclusive grouping of activities, done without considering all of the variables attendant to each incident, induces the conclusion that all statements against Mormons are criminal. Morrow has failed to make critical distinctions among the activities he enumerates. His analysis is patently absurd.

Morrow correctly claims that vandalism and violence are criminal; however, he then mistakenly lumps the broad and subjective term ‘persecution,’ together with those crimes. What the society for the Prevention of Anti-Mormonism might not appreciate is that the actions or speech they term ‘persecution,’ are not necessarily criminal; indeed, what is characterized as “anti-Mormon,” when limited to statements, publications or even Broadway musicals is usually the mere exercise of a constitutionally protected right to freedom of speech. Those who exercise this first amendment right, which includes theatre, dance, song and all other forms of expression, and yes, graffiti (the crime is not in the content, but in the trespass to property) are not criminals, but critics. Critical thinking is never a crime—it is a requirement for the improvement of society; otherwise we stagnate in the status quo.

He lists a case where a Book of Mormon was burned on the doorsteps of a chapel. Again, the right to burn a Book of Mormon is absolutely within the parameters of free speech. It is only where the burning was done (on LDS real estate) that made it criminal. Merely criticizing Mormonism, without more, is not a hate crime. As enlightened minds can appreciate (but those who remain in the dark will never acknowledge) those who speak truth to power are voices of clarity and reason to those who have ears to hear.

Criticizing Mormonism is no different than criticizing Nazism, communism, ethnocentrism, elitism, pessimism, or any other sort of “ism.” Those who were influenced by Hitler, claimed Christianity as their guidepost, believing they were in the right contemporaneous with the horrible atrocities committed by Nazis. Now in the 21st-century most have rejected Hitler’s belief system.

Communism too has lost its adherents and its appeal. In the Cold War Era of my youth, the U.S.S.R. , East Germany and the political framework of most eastern European countries were communist—but the wall fell and freedom is now more widespread. The exceptions, those countries that remain under communist rule, can be listed on one hand: North Korea, Laos, Vietnam, China and Cuba. Was communism good or bad? Depends on who you ask. It was useful for those in power in the 20th century. However, the recent history of global political science has shown that more enlightened minds prevailed and now communism is on its deathbed.

Mormonism will also die. Like the political system that supported the Berlin wall that fell, Mormonism is being exposed for its corruption and will also deconstruct. It is corrupt to its core– its misrepresentation of its own history, its calculated and manipulative theology, its racism, sexism and active homophobia–all these negative belief systems are being exposed by truth-seekers of the information age. Mormonism will implode. It is just a matter of time.

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