Just When Did The Church Of Latter Day Saints Become The Church of Fierce Culture Warriors?
Will America's religious communities actually stop their own intolerance for each other to unite? Maybe we should hope that they don't. Look what happened to Prop 8: Catholics and Protestants (and other "non-denominational Christians") united with the Mormon Church to annihilate gay marriage. Was it only for the money? Or was it because they saw in the Mormon Church a fierce warrior, a staunch soldier... an Achilles.
And they needed the strength to do a most "un-Christian" thing: deny people their rights.
Mormons at the Door
Can social conservatives assimilate the LDS into their movement?
In 1898, B.H. Roberts, a high-ranking member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was elected to represent Utah in the House. At the time, Americans could grudgingly accept a Mormon politician as long as he wasn't too Mormon. But Roberts still lived with the three wives he had married before the LDS church ended polygamy. Protestant ministerial associations and newspapers like the New York Evening Journal petitioned Congress to refuse Roberts his seat. The voices of rectitude delivered 7 million signatures written on 28 scrolls wrapped in the American flag to the Capitol. The House voted 268-50 against Roberts. His seat was given to a one-woman Mormon whose faith could be glossed over. (From: The American Conservative By Michael Brendan Dougherty )
Several things stand out about this introduction. First note that, if correct, 7 million signatures for 1898 is an ENORMOUS, almost unfathomable sum. How they were able to get them on to just 28 scrolls is almost beyond comprehension (remember, they had no way of "copying" back then, so those 7 million signatures had to be all handwritten!). So, if the figure is correct it shows how vehemently people had issues not with just the Mormon faith, but any faith outside mainstream Protestantism. Some of the signatories may have remembered the "Bible Wars" of the 1850s where people actually lost their lives over which Bibles to use in schools! (Catholic Douay Version or KJV!). Yes, there were Christofascists back then. They thought Catholicism was weird and mysterious. If the figure is not correct, however, it still shows the animosity people have for "un-Christian" beliefs.
The other thing that stood out (for me) was in the subtitle: "social conservatives." What's with the "social conservatives" BS? Re-branding is too little too late. We've already discussed that. "Social Conservatives" ARE the Religious Right, the Christian Right, Fundamentalists, American Taliban, Reconstructionists, Literalists, or Christofascists - NOT "social conservatives" - the name is practically meaningless and brings up the quote from the very wise character Mammy in Gone With The Wind: "Ms Scarlett, you's nothin' but a mule in horse's harness. You kin dress him up and slick him down jus' like a race horse, but he's still a mule jus' the same." Or a "pig in lipstick."
The same process of assimilation into the social conservative movement may be taking place for Mormons. Soon after the California Supreme Court declared same-sex marriage constitutional, Catholic Bishop of San Francisco George Niederauer asked the LDS church to join a multifaith coalition against gay marriage.
Further in the article, a Mormon elder and LDS official, Lance, Wickman, called Prop 8: "The Gettysburg Of The Culture War."
Kind of catchy, isn't it? But more than great promotional value, it shows how vehemently (yes, and possibly violently) the Mormon Church will wage war against gay rights. And against other things as well. Just ask Utah State Senator Chris Buttars. And while you're at it, ask when the "Saints" will become "Stalins" for the cause.
Of course, every Achilles has his "heel."
We just need to know what it is.
We'll find out.
Just a thought.