Those Scary Mormons

I was just reading an article by an Evangelical about why he couldn’t vote for Mitt Romney:

A Vote for Romney Is a Vote for the LDS Church

I have to give the man credit for originality: he tells us that Mormons can’t be trusted to stand firm on principles because any day a revelation might change the church’s position on some issue (apparently, he’s assuming that all Mormons will turn on a dime when the church say so). But even worse, he says, electing a Mormon president would give the church a lot of free press, and we can’t have that.

I’ve interacted with a lot of Evangelicals over the years in these online forums. Most of them have been reasonable and fair in their discussions with me about Mormonism, whether I was a believer or not. But there’s always been a subset of Evangelicals who seem to go unhinged at the drop of Joseph Smith’s white hat. It’s as if Mormonism is this huge threat to “real” Christians, so much so that they must be shunned so believers can avoid getting contaminated by their Mormon ways.

You may think I’m overstating things. We had neighbors in Texas who would not let their kids come into our house (who knows what Mormons do behind closed doors?). A family we knew had neighbors who refused to speak to them and would quickly gather their kids into the house whenever the dreaded Mormons were outside. And of course, more than one person told me that he/she would not pray with Mormons because that would be offensive to God.

I understand why Evangelicals strongly disagree with LDS theology, and I even understand why they say Mormons are not Christians, though I disagree with them. But I don’t understand the abject terror that comes over some Evangelicals whenever Mormons are brought up.

11 Responses to Those Scary Mormons

  1. Goldarn says:

    I understand. I’ve known Mormons who won’t let their kids play with non-Mormons. I’ve known Mormons who wanted to get non-Mormon teachers fired, because “they might teach our kids the wrong things.”

    I lived in a large subdivision in Utah country once-upon-a-time. There were 2 non-Mormons in the ENTIRE subdivision, and they were 2 doors apart. The Mormon wife who lived in between was heard to comment, “I thought I’d moved into a good MORMON neighborhood.”

    I’ve known too many ex-mormons who have been shunned by their own families, not to mention former ward members (“friends”).

    So, yeah, I can totally understand why some Evangelicals do that to Mormons, because some Mormons do the same thing.

    • runtu says:

      I’ve seen that too, sadly. Not often, though. It’s all just ignorance and bigotry, if you ask me.

      • Goldarn says:

        I agree. And that’s why–ignorance and bigotry.

        It’s Us vs. Them, and we’re on the Us side.

  2. Goldarn says:

    And besides, it’s not like it’s just against Mormons. Check out what a small Texas town did to an atheist student at graduation (one article of many that Google found):

  3. Sigh says:

    The Evangelicals hate everybody. The Catholics, the Jews, the Mormons, the Liberals, the Blacks, the Latinos. Just about anybody who doesn’t follow their personal interpretation. But the mural of the story is to be comfortable in your area, friends, etc. If you aren’t open to other faiths, you’ll have big problems in this country.

    • runtu says:

      I don’t think that’s a fair statement at all. As I said, I’ve known a lot of non-hateful Evangelicals.

  4. Chris says:

    It’s almost kind of like how everybody ganged up on Harold Camping. To the evangelicals, Mormonism is so obviously wrong. It’s here, here, and here that there can’t be more scripture, god is one, etc, etc. So there’s the doctrine aspect… but then they’ve been conditioned to view Mormons a certain way their whole life. And that conditioning is effective, especially outside of Utah where they aren’t exposed to walking, talking Mormons that much. Unlike for Mormons, we are (or used to) forced to play well with the majority. We tend to (or used to) lean more towards acceptance (at least on the outside). Whereas the evangelical sees no harm in criticizing and has been encouraged to criticize and even fear a sometimes mysterious and obviously not-biblical cult.

    I think they get upset or threatened that nobody else sees what they see… and so they make a big fuss about it.

  5. I agree with Chris that Evangelicals outside of Utah dislike–even fear–the Mormon doctrine and most probably don’t know any real Mormons.

    However, I’ve found that most Utah nonMormons of any denomination dislike the Mormon culture–the proselytizing, the conviction they have the only truth, the desire to legislate their religious convictions–i.e. liquor laws–and the the exclusiveness.

  6. Diane Sower says:

    I suffered more PTSD in a Baptist congregation than I did in 35 years of mormonism. And as far as political issues go, conservatives need not worry. As a liberal, I was impressed with how Mitt was able to work with both sides of the coin in Massachusetts than other governors. Christians who distance themselves from mormons are classic cultists themselves, and do not love their neighbors as themselves.

  7. […] I’ve commented on this, too, so I’ll just let my previous comments stand: Those Scary Mormons […]

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