Glenn Beck and Mormonism: when criticism equals attacks and hatred

Where’s the love?

I thought that we were to heed the media, pop-cultural, political vox de jour and tone down the vitriol.

Yet, when I recently posted Is Glenn Beck a Mormon-new-age guru? at my Examiner site the emotive sentiments were scattered far and wide: from being referred to as hateful and someone who attacks to actually stating that I am helping satan.
By the way, in case you did not know: if you cannot logically and fact-fully argue against someone, you simply say that they are attacking and being hateful. This moves the discourse from one of facts to one of emotions. Now, when someone is experiencing an emotion what sort of facts will prevail. After all, emotions are real/tangible sensations whilst facts are abstract concepts. Thus, you can do a drive by comment, say “hateful” and “attack,” pat yourself on the back for telling’em and move on.

Quite a few comments were logically and theologically erroneous. All seemed to agree that all religions, including Mormonism (which is, so they say, Christian) are valid and that we should not disparage it. Yet, all seemed to agree that Christianity, proper, is false and we should disparage it.

Following are the comments and my responses (as of Jan. 24, 2011 AD). Whilst within the confines of a predetermined number of characters allowed for comments I still hope that, that which follows will provide some examples of how to respond to such sentiments:

mormon.jpg

Mother Becker wrote:
Mariano, this is a horribly written article. If you’ve written 1500 essays, its amazing that you haven’t mastered the semicolon.
That said, I hate Glen Beck, too. He’s crazy, and dangerous. And I’m a Latter Day Saint.

I wrote:
Those of us for whom English is a second language and suffer from dyslexia-like symptoms prefer empathy to ridicule but I realize that some people do not have much more with which to work.
And I do not share your point of view in that I do not hate Glenn Beck (“Glenn” is spelled with a double “n,” by the way) or anyone at all.

ryanwin wrote:
Mariano, instead of looking for the bad in others, you should look at similarities, thereby accentuating the good. Glenn Beck isn’t perfect, but he is a force for good. As for Mormons, I know plenty of ’em, and they are good God fearing people. They simply have a different interpretation of the Bible than you do. It is Satan’s goal to divide and conquer, and you are helping him.

I wrote:
Why are you looking for the bad in me? You see, you are contradicting yourself by writing to me in order to tell me that I am doing wrong.
Moreover, why should I look for similarities? It is the supposed but not real similarities between Mormonism and Christianity that have people confused about both. I can accentuating the good qualities of Mormonism (such as mentioning their great stereotypical families) while pointing out their theological errors.
Moreover, they most certainly do not “simply have a different interpretation of the Bible” but hold to un-, non- and anti-biblical doctrines. For example, believing that they can become gods is not a “different interpretation.” It is no interpretation at all.
It is fascinating to know that even though Beck is the one that believes that he can become a god and you look for the bad in me: I am the one who is personally helping satan.

Anonymous wrote:
your approach towards mormonism is condescending and uniformed. Im not even LDS, but I know for a fact that socially, theologically, and in every other way they are christian. And more christian than most christians I might add.
As for your back-handed attack on Glenn Beck,; you clearly don’t know the man! He is LDS, not new age. He may quote them because they may have said something they agree with. The fact that I read the koran and quoted it in an english essay doesn’t mean I’m muslim, or even pro-muslim! But I realize, as Christ would want me to realize, that there is good in every faith, truth in every book, and joy in every heart. Sometimes its hard to find, but its there, and we MUST find it if our world is to become better and more peaceful.

I wrote:
If Mormons are Christian why did Joseph Smith say that he asked God which church to join and God told him, “join none of them, for they were all wrong…all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt…He again forbade me to join with any of them…” (Pearl of Great Price – Joseph Smith – History – 2:18-20).
If my “approach towards mormonism is condescending and uniformed” why do you not refute anything I stated? Smith who was first to draw a permanent distinction between Mormonism and Christianity. That Mormons’ PR campaigns has made those who do not know their history/theology refer to them as Christians is another story.
Read the quotes again: he is stating that these things are true, they are true of him and you and he is prescribing them.
What makes you think that Christ would want you to realize that there is good in every faith, truth in every book, and joy in every heart? His message was 100% opposite of that, “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me.”
We should not become more peaceful by pretending that things that are not true are true and that there are similarities in substance where there are merely similarities in terminology. We should become more peaceful by recognizing our free will, the free will of others to believe as they please and our free will to discuss.

Anonymous wrote:
You know for a fact that LDS are theologically sound? Have you asked them if there is salvation for non-LDS Christians? Unfortunately they dodn’t even follow their own theology. For example, the Book of Mormon states there is only one God, he always was and will always be God. Yet one of the “Statements of faith” is the following: “As man now is God once was, and as God now is man may become”
Believing God was a man and that a human can be a God goes against even what they view as “The most correct book”.

Book of Mormon.jpg

Anonymous wrote:
Now let’s critique the religious beliefs of all the other political commentators. All in the interest of fairness and equal time, of course.

I did not respond to these two anons as the first was responding to another comment and the second was employing the tactic of; “I cannot deal with the facts and so hey! Look over there! Smoke and mirrors with a side of red herring!”

Tracy Hall Jr wrote:
Glenn Beck is not an official spokesperson for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, nor does he pretend to be one. Nor, for that matter, neither am I.
By attacking Mormonism on the basis of Beck’s beliefs, Mariano employs the logical fallacy of the “straw man.”
Apparently he has not heard, or chooses to ignore, the call of evangelical Christian leader Richard J. Mouw to refrain from bearing false witness against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
http://www.beliefnet.com/Faiths/Christianity/2004/11/We-Have-Sinned-Agai
To learn what Mormons actually believe, go to the pure source. Why drink downstream from the anti-Mormon feedlot?
Try something creative, original, and “out of the box.” Try actually reading “The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ!”
http://lds.org/scriptures/bofm?lang=eng
For succint and accurate information about our faith, I also recommend:
mormon.org
Tracy Hall Jr
[email deleted]

In the next comment Tracy elucidated, “Sorry about the double negative. I should have written ‘For that matter, neither am I.’”

I wrote:
I am afraid that your logical fallacy detector has misfired. If my premise could be written as the following syllogism:
1) Glenn Beck is a Mormon.
2) Glenn Beck holds to erroneous beliefs.
3) Therefore, Mormonism is false.
Then you may have a point but you must consider the context which was asking if and pointing out that Glenn Beck is speaking out as a Mormon-new-age guru.
I have read lots of Mormon literature and have had discussions with Mormon missionaries in my home for months at a time. It was Mormonism’s founder, Joseph Smith, who, according to your emotive terminology, “attacked” Christianity by claiming that when he asked God which church to join, God Himself told him, “that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: ‘they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.’ He again forbade me to join with any of them…” (Pearl of Great Price – Joseph Smith – History – 2:18-20).
If I am bearing false witness may God help me repent. But then, why were you unable to provide even one single example of my doing so?

joseph smith_0.jpg

Chad wrote:
Congrats on one thing, you’ve come up with the poorest researched and written article of the year. On the bright side, it’s only January and there’s plenty of time for other senseless and slanderous dribble to be written in the upcoming months.

I wrote:
Those of us for whom English is a second language and suffer from dyslexia-like symptoms prefer empathy to ridicule but I realize that some people do not have much more with which to work.
If your “logic” is that something must be false if it is presented via a poorly worded argument then you are simply mistaken. Noting that you have nothing to offer in the way of refutation but merely wanted to besmirch and run; I big you farewell.

Johnnylingo62 wrote:
I think Glenn Beck uses various religious sources, some not Christ-based, to show that there is “good and truth” in most regions of the world, and in many dispensations of time.
As a world traveler, I try to see “common good” that is the basis for most religions. The Mormons believe that there is good in all religions. They say, “bring your truths with you and explore what we have, and you may find that we can improve each other.”
If there is a living prophet in the Mormon church, shouldn’t you be just a little curious what he is saying to this generation?
Unfortunately, Mariano seems to confine truth to only be found up until the end of 70AD. But who is the prophet that Amos says God will surely reveal his intentions to His prophet before he does anything on the earth (Amos 3:7 “Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets”.)
Glenn Beck does not promote himself to be a prophet, but I’m sure he believes there is a prophet on the earth today, as do I. His name is Thomas S. Monson.

I wrote:
If it is true that “Mormons believe that there is good in all religions” why did their founder, Joseph Smith, claim that God Himself told him the following about Christian churches, “I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: ‘they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.’ He again forbade me to join with any of them…” (Pearl of Great Price – Joseph Smith – History – 2:18-20)
The very premise of their religion is not that “we can improve each other” but that Christianity is an abomination and that Mormonism is the restored version.
How can truth be confined up until the end of 70AD? We are learning new things all of the time. Yet, divine revelation between God and humanity as a whole has been revealed and any latter day revelation must be judged according to it.
If there is a living prophet in the Mormon church, we should heed his words; no question about it. Yet, that is a big “If.” It is big enough to distinguish between truth and heresy. The Bible is monotheistic, the Book of Mormon and other Mormon publications are monotheistic but the “living prophets” tell us that we can all become gods through their religion. Thus, they are not “living prophets” but false prophets.

As you can see in Jeff Durbin debates two Mormon missionaries; this really is the bottom line to many, if not in some ultimate sense all, Mormons: the living prophet de jour said it, it must be true, we will not question it, case closed.

Crowned wrote:
Clearly, Mariano is on the pro-Jesus side of spirituality. I like that about him. Are Mormons saved? If their faith is in the person of Jesus and his accomplishments through his death and resurrection, then yes. Are they Christians? No. Christians uphold traditional Christian beliefs and hold the Bible to be their only rule for faith and practice (tho’ admittedly their practice falls short). Like the gnostics of long ago Joseph Smith thought to ride on the coattails of Jesus’ fame, put his own spin on it, and gather a following. He did. It worked. Beck is doing the same thing methinks. Looking to ‘save’ the world from the evil liberals and invoking his version of spirituality to justify his efforts. Scary stuff indeed.

I wrote:
Actually, we are pretty much directly on the same wave length.

jn3792 wrote:
It takes no talent to create a definition of Christianity with the intent to exclude a particular group. It is really all semantics anyway. You can play around with words all you want, but one thing is clear – Jesus Christ, as Savior, Redeemer and Son of God, is at the very center of Mormon theology. Period.
I also disagree with the idea of Joseph Smith “riding the coattails of Jesus’ fame’. When Joseph Smith was shot to death by a mob, he left behind very few earthly possessions. Additionally, the Mormon Church is perhaps the only Christian church on earth that doesn’t have a professional, paid clergy. 99.9% of the ecclesiastical leaders of the Mormon church receive no compensation.

I wrote:
Joseph Smith concocted “a definition of Christianity” under the name of Mormonism and/or LDS, “with the intent to exclude a particular group” (just read Pearl of Great Price – Joseph Smith – History – 2:18-20).
Mormonism plays around with words since and they got you to think that “Jesus Christ, as Savior, Redeemer and Son of God, is at the very center of Mormon theology. Period.” Yet, go beyond the words, “Jesus,” “Christ” and “Jesus Christ” and actually look at how the Bible defines those words, that person and look at how Mormonism defines those words, that person: they are completely different in nature, mission and person. It is like saying, that anyone in the world named “Chuck Palmire” are the same person because all of their names are “Chuck Palmire.”
Also, do not forget to mention “When Joseph Smith was shot to death by a mob” he was not innocently stating, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do” but rather, he was blowing people’s brains out. So, indeed, in that sense you are quite right; he was not “riding the coattails of Jesus” in any way.

Anonymous wrote:
Wow, hateful! Why attack someone’s faith when that person is simply saying, we all can do better than this; now is the time!
I don’t have to know much about Grinbank to understand that his hatred of Mormonism has muddled his perception of a simple call to be a better human, no matter what path we are taking.

I wrote:
Please reconsider, you call me hateful and say that I am attacking but then, your comment is meant to tell me that I am wrong for telling someone else that they are wrong but if that is so then you are wrong for telling me that I am wrong and thus, you are being hateful and attacking me.
You may state “no matter what path we are taking” but Jesus disagrees with you in stating, “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”

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Ray Barbier

I am just an average man who loves writing, thinking and trying to inspire kindness, love, understanding and Compassion in others and try to find them within myself.

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