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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Discussions About Orson Scott Card » Reactions to and myths surrounding Mormonism. (Page 0)

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Author Topic: Reactions to and myths surrounding Mormonism.
Scott R
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quote:
If you did not intend this to apply to everybody who has left the church, which is the usual meaning of 'apostate'
In this case, KoM, since this is a Mormon-centric thread, a little education is needed.

The word 'apostate' in Mormon theology does not just mean someone who has left the church. In this case, it's more like the following definition offered by dictionary.com:

quote:
n : a disloyal person who betrays or deserts his cause or religion or political party or friend etc. [syn: deserter, renegade, turncoat, recreant, ratter]

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King of Men
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I am not quite clear on the distinction you are making. Are you saying that Mormons only apply 'apostate' to church-leavers who are actively hostile to the church, and have another name for those who leave on good terms? If so, OSC's post becomes more reasonable, though I stand by my comment about the mind-reading software.
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Scott R
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quote:
Are you saying that Mormons only apply 'apostate' to church-leavers who are actively hostile to the church, and have another name for those who leave on good terms?
Yes; the first is 'apostate' (though that's not a term that most folks use); the second is 'inactive,' or 'Ex-mormon.'

quote:
I stand by my comment about the mind-reading software.
IMO, I think it's pretty common knowledge that 'apostate' means more than friendly departure from a belief system. Maybe I'm wrong. At any rate, I'm glad I could open your mind to new possibilities.
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Will B
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quote:
Great story, Will B!
[Smile]
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Presences
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My opinion, and most Mormon opinions I know, have a real world definition of Apostate Mormon vs. an inactive Mormon:

Apostate: The member or ex-member who slanders his once believed faith. Slandering the faith is probably the minimum they do. Judas Iscariot being THE example of an apostate.

Inactive (one who does not go to church): The member who probably still believes most of the teachings of the church, will even defend it when necessary, but does not attend due to guilt, selfishness, laziness, or maybe even was offended by someone and unwilling to forgive, etc. Or, it could be an ex-member, or inactive member who says they no longer believe the faith, but will not speak badly of it, neither does this person try to go about and destroy others faith. (Of course, my believe is once a believer, always a believer, unless you decide to become an Apostate.)

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Dark as night
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To answer the original question, judging by the places I've lived, the higher percentage of LDS population, the fewer misconceptions about our religions seem to exist. It makes sense, because if people have neighbors, colleagues, friends, etc. who are LDS, they won't HAVE to ask "Are you still practicing polygamy?" [Smile]

I was born to Muslim gone atheist gone religiosly neutral parents. In Russia. Then we all became LDS just 3 years after Russia was opened to LDS missionaries. Talk about misconceptions there! Problem was that in a country made up mostly of Russian Orthodox Christians, EVERY religion other than Islam, Catholisism, and Judaism was considered to be a cult. In hateful newspaper articles, often written at request of the Orthodox Church, we were right there with Jehovah's Witnesses, 7th day Adventists, Baptists, Methodists, and "all other protestants". According to them the collective purpose of these "foreign sects and cults" was to brainwash and manipulate all the good and faithful Russian Orthodox people and pull them away from their true faith. Never mind that a vast majority of them goes to church only on religious holidays. I think that things may have gotten slightly better since I left, but in the 90s we got a tremendous amount of persecution, ridicule and hate from the people who believed the lies spread about us by the Orthodox propaganda. To be fair, they did slander all the non-mainstream faiths almost equally.

Of course people asked me what kind of animals we butcher at church during our rituals and what brainwashing methods these guys in white shirts with nametags employ. Polygamy and Joseph Smith were not as well frequently discussed however.

And now I live in Virginia, where most people have at least heard of us, and though every so often I get questions like "so how many other wives did your dad have?" they are always asked with a smile. Otherwise I am most frequently asked about the Word of Wisdom and "that pretty white castle-like Mormon church on I-495 just north of DC". [Smile]

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Scott R
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Hey, I live in Northern VA, too!

Small world.

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Dagonee
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"that pretty white castle-like Mormon church on I-495 just north of DC"

For years there was a grafiti "Welcome to OZ" on an overpass that lined up exactly underneath the spires as you came around the Beltway toward it.

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katharina
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I love that view. My friend Catherine came to visit a few weeks ago and we went out there to see it. You can still see "surrender" on the overpass right before it when you're hading east on 495.
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Dagonee
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*smacks forehead*

That's right, it said, "Surrender Dorothy."

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Itsame
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I heard that mormons worship Satan and drink blood of sacrificed children >_>. Seriously though, I used to think mormons were strange before I became friends with some, I have to say that the mormons whom I know are some of the nices people I have ever met. I don't know what it is that is taught in LDS but apparently it makes people act really nice... At first it kind of creeped me out a bit but then I grew to think it was cool.
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Scott R
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quote:
I heard that mormons worship Satan and drink blood of sacrificed children
Haha! Satan! Heh.

Nah. Asmodean.

And drink the blood of children? Ewww. Of course we do eat babies, but drinking their freshly spilled life-blood...no way. That's just not sanitary.

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MaGlick
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With Mitt Romney likely one of the top Republican presidential apirants (and a Mormon), we're likely to got a good barometric reading on how the country feels about the sect.

I don't know a lot about LDS myself.
I've always had a bit of trouble reconciling notion of a Christian god with his creation, a world whose inhabitants have to kill and eat each other to live.

But I'm not a big fan or mortality, at least the notion of my own mortality, so I definitely see the appeal of everlasting life.

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Oobie Binoobie
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quote:
Originally posted by JonHecht:
I don't know what it is that is taught in LDS but apparently it makes people act really nice... At first it kind of creeped me out a bit but then I grew to think it was cool.

It's the green jello. With the carrot shavings suspended in it. Isn't it obvious?
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DaisyMae
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Growing up I understood the green jello joke, but truly I haven't seen green jello in perhaps fifteen years. Is it still around at church functions?
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mr_porteiro_head
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No. Yet the jokes remain.

Kinda like polygamy.

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Brinestone
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We brought green jell-o with carrots to a Utah Hatrack gathering, but I guess that wouldn't be considered a church function.
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mr_porteiro_head
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And you brought it as a joke.
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Occasional
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"Ye gods! Religion harnessing science? What next miracle, I wonder. The next thing, we'll have electric votive candles!"

I found this over at Onery, and had a negative reaction. There are at least two large myths (and one minor one) going on here, even if it is a joke.

The context is a story on how Salt Lake City is going to try and develop electricity from garbage and waste. There is absolutely NO mention of Mormons at all. Can you pick out the myths? The only thing you need to know is the above context to understand what the myths would be.

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Kylie K
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quote:
Originally posted by duckfeathers:
Two quick notes to begin this post:

1) Yes, I know, I'm new and subject to teasing, and
2) being such, I've no idea if this is a repeat topic or not. I've done as much searching through archives as humanly possibly without exploding my own head, and I suppose if it IS a repeat, just let it drift to the back of the forums by itself. Thanks. ;D

Anyway.

I'm a beginning freshman at my university, and I found out a few days ago that most of the students in my intro sociology course have crazy misconceptions concerning Mormonism. A majority of the class believed that Mormons still condoned and practiced polygamy. At least a fourth of the class thought that polygamy was legal in Utah.

What I'm trying to say is, has anyone else faced ignorance like this, or any kind of crazy myths surrounding the religion? (A friend and I were talking about some of the religious themes in some of Card's works, especially the Homecoming series, and another friend heard the word 'Mormon' and flipped his lid.) Or is it just a regional thing, since I live out in the middle of Nowhere, Kentucky?

I didn't know that. Thank you for enlightening me. I guess it should have been obvious that they would practice that anymore. To tell the truth I know little about mormonism. What I know I've picked up from the few mormons I know. Anyway thank you for teaching me something.
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Farmgirl
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quote:
It's worth remembering that there are many people - most of them born-again Christians - whose "ministry" consists of deliberately distorting history and/or making stuff up in order to keep people from believing the message of the Mormon missionaries - basically, trying to immunize people against Mormons.
Well, as a "born again Christian" I hope I'm not considered in that lot.

I find, in my own church, that I'm about the only one with first-hand knowledge/experience of the LDS faith. Most others only know what they have "read" from various sources.

Although I'm not LDS, I think most in my current church know, now, that if they have a question about LDS, they ask me. I'm appalled at some of the misconceptions they do have. While I don't personally agree with the Mormon doctrine, I also don't agree with there being inaccuracies perpetuated through ignorance.

Oftentimes one of our members will say, "I just got a new neighbor and they are Mormon. I'm not sure I understand the difference between what they believe and what we believe, so I don't want to say something offensive". So we talk about it.

And I'm no expert. That's why I enjoy conversing with the LDS here and my other LDS friends IRL to learn more.

FG

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Libbie
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Yes, I have encountered that quite a lot. I am actually no longer a Mormon, but I used to be. Whenever anybody new to me finds out that I'm a former Mormon, they have a lot of questions about the religion, and some of them are downright bizarre. But I try to answer them as best I can, anyway.

I think it's a religion that has a lot of "mystique" surrounding it (at least, to those who aren't part of it), and that spurs a lot of weird rumors. Of course, a lot of folks find parts of Mormon doctrine to be weird, and that's understandable, I think. The nice thing is that the real information about the LDS church is out there for anybody to find easily, if they want to do a little easy research. But a lot of folks find it easier to just believe the stranger rumors they hear.

The question I get asked the most often is about "magical Mormon underwear." Everybody always seems pretty let down when I tell them that it's just a sacred garment, like in any other religion that uses sacred garments, but it's worn under your everyday clothes instead of on the outside for everybody to see. They're especially disappointed when I tell them that Mormons don't actually bathe and shower with their temple garments on. Really - if they believe that Mormons bathe with their temple garments on, then they must think it takes Mormons several hours to dry off after a bath. [ROFL]

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Libbie
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quote:
Originally posted by pooka:


I know sometimes people have criticized how much money we spend on temples and large buildings and how much good could be done for the poor with that money. I've never heard anyone say that about a minister's salary. I don't mean to say they make extravagant sums of money, it's simply a matter that we put a similar amount of money into different things.

Right - I've always found that funny. [Frown] Goodness, I've NEVER seen as much communtiy charity in any organization as when I was active in the Church. I think I was involved in helping somebody out just about every single weekend with one Church group or another. I'm happy to say that I still do community service whenever I have the time! It's a shame that the LDS church is accused of being a bunch of temple-building maniacs when their church administrators aren't even paid.

WHATEVER, anti-Mormon churches! [Taunt]

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Libbie
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quote:
Originally posted by King of Men:
quote:
Originally posted by Orson Scott Card:
The worst, of course, are the apostates, who can never quite forgive the church for not bowing to their will.

Of course, it is completely impossible that anyone might just not believe in what the LDS church teaches. Nobody in their right mind could conceivably have doubted the historicity of the angel Moroni. Therefore, everyone who has left the church must obviously have done so purely because they wanted power within their church, and were annoyed when they didn't get it.
I guess I'm technically an apostate, but I didn't leave because I felt that the church wasn't conforming to what I wanted it to be, nor because of any hard feelings toward the Church. I left because I couldn't make myself into what the Church expected of me - a person who believes in a conscious and active deity. I felt like a hypocrite, staying in such a nice community when no amount of prayer or conversation with the Holy Ghost (which I also couldn't believe is a conscious spirit) could bring me to believe in deities of any kind.

At least I'm not a vicious apostate who goes around bad-mouthing the Church. I have nothing but good things to say about it to anybody who discusses it with me - in fact, I love it dearly, and I'll defend the LDS church when I think it's necessary. I just can't stay there when I don't truly believe in the existence of God.

So, not all of the apostates are total jerks. Some of us are okay.

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Libbie
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quote:
Originally posted by Presences:
Or, it could be an ex-member, or inactive member who says they no longer believe the faith, but will not speak badly of it, neither does this person try to go about and destroy others faith. (Of course, my believe is once a believer, always a believer, unless you decide to become an Apostate.)

Well, that makes me feel a little bit better. [Wink]
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ketchupqueen
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Just a note on green Jell-o: when I was on bedrest during my first pregnancy, the Visiting Teachers came by with dinner one night and dessert was green Jell-o (but with pineapple, not carrots.) However, the person I have been most likely to recieve green Jell-o salad from is my (Baptist) grandmother who grew up in Kansas. Growing up, I always assumed it was a Midwest thing (which it may well be considering how close Dallas is to the Midwest and that I'd consider Utah, while unique more Midwest than West Coast, culture-wise.)
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Libbie
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Am I the only person who LIKES green Jell-O with carrots? The only person I know who makes it is my very non-Mormon grandma. She also puts walnuts in it. Mmmmm.
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Chris63084
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Well, I feel I want to comment, however I'm not sure what to say, about the original post, I never really had a misconception such as that about current LDS...policy? (Should I call it that?)However on the the subject of misconceptions, I think most of it is simple ignorance. It is simply the way people act when something seems strange or different to them. It's almost shameful that humanity is still like that, but much of it is.
Honestly I don't know what I believe anymore personally. I was raised a born-again christian, and my own experiences in life lead me to believe in god, however I'm not so sure that my belief makes any sense to me. (if that makes any sense)
In any case, for the most part people of the born again faith that I've met seem to think of Mormons as unknown or they consider them "unsaved" or they have said that it was a cult. Now, I think that those ideas stem from the fact that with born again christianity, everything is so free-form that people form their own beliefs on much of what the bible says. The doctrine is not exactly set. As far as what I think, I'm not sure, my personal experiences with people of that faith were positive. The largest difference between what I was brought up to believe and Mormonism is that I was taught to believe that the only "holy book" or whatever you want to call it is the bible. I think thats one thing that sticks out to me as different, but please don't misunderstand me, I'm not saying anyone is right or wrong, just that that seems to be the largest difference to me.
As far as how I feel that they line up, someone said it earlier, both believe in Jesus as their savior, and I think thats probably the most important thing.
In any case, I must admit that I too am one of those people that knows very little about this. I hope that I didn't offend anyone by what I said, and I hope that I spark some conversation about the differences, the similarities, etc.
Chris

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Promethius
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quote:
The Book of Mormon has some choice things to say about professional ministers
I didnt know that the book of Mormon actually spoke out against professional ministers. This would explain why the guy I work with who is Mormon said some of the things he said.
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King of Men
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Come to that, the Bible isn't very nice to professional priests either - Jesus is always clashing with them, of course, but even the OT prophets have to fight their corruption and greed.
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human_2.0
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And I think it should be noted that professional might mean something different to different people. I'm not too sure that all full time LDS church leaders are living off of savings or donations from family. In other words, the church has to be helping them out somehow.

I think "professional" means that they make money according to the number of believers they have. So they do everything they can to increase the believer count so that they can get more money. Especially if that means making doctrines more acceptable.

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striplingrz
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I agree human_2.0, but I'd add my personal experience something else. When I was 13, I was baptised in a Southern Baptist church. Within 2 months, our pastor left the church to go to a bigger church offering him a larger salary. I couldn't for the life of me understand how that could possibly be alright with God. That stuck with me for years, and eventually caused me to question everything about religion. Until I found the Mormon church, I was a very unhappy camper with religion. So while what you say above his true, I think the motives of some religious leaders can be such as what I state here.
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Occasional
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human 2.0, There are LDS church leaders who are given a stippened (sp?) when it is their entire lives dedicated to the work. That includes the Apostles and Prophet and Mission Presidents. However, not all of them take it and live off of retirement funds or other income. There is no information as to who or how many.
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Libbie
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All of the Church leaders I know (on local levels, that is, not the Apostles or Prophet, etc.) have "day jobs" that pay their way.
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ketchupqueen
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*nods* Most of the men I know who have served as mission presidents refused the stipend (they were able to live off investments, savings, pensions, etc. during that time instead.)
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I Am The War Chief
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COUGH :OSC P.S. This is all we're going to say on this topic here on Hatrack. This is not a place for discussing Mormon doctrine. I responded here because this was a sincere inquiry and deserved a full and accurate answer, which I have provided. If you have further questions, please write to me via the CONTACT button at the top of the Hatrack screen, and I'll steer you to the best sources on this subject. Meanwhile, this thread is closed. COUGH sry something caught in my throat.
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Chris63084
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funny, it seems open to me...:)heh

(sending you a message)

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I Am The War Chief
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This was posted by OSC in another blog, if one conversation about mormonism is shut down why shouldnt this one? I just wanted to point that out. And I didnt ask to be contacted OSC did lol that was his qoute I suppose I should have cut it up more.

EDIT
Heres the link to the other conversation

http://www.hatrack.com/cgi-bin/ubbmain/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=1;t=004560;p=0&r=nfx

[ November 15, 2006, 09:40 AM: Message edited by: I Am The War Chief ]

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Occasional
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I have two comments for you War Chief. The first is that you are not OSC or Janitor. Second, as someone who has read this Forum for a while I am familiar with OSCs "rules" about discussing Mormonsim. He doesn't mind a general discussion where there can be several topics. What he doesn't like is topics on Mormonsims that are about very specific aspects of the religion. If this one started to go that way then it would also be closed.

The reason for this is, from my understanding, specific topics can easily become both contentious and prosylitizing (sic) with both reasons for something to be closed as well in general topics. Of course, he can decide any post is worthy of closure. He owns this place.

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pooka
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Backwardly phrased is the title of this thread.
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I Am The War Chief
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hahaha this has not been my month, Occasional I never claimed to be OSC or Janitor, if this was meant as a slight, meh , I dont really care. Secondly

"What he doesn't like is topics on Mormonsims that are about very specific aspects of the religion. If this one started to go that way then it would also be closed."

Id say an ENTIRE SUBJECT line including myths around mormanism is specific but thats just me, and as most know I was allready explained the rules of this site in some previus post that shall not be mentioned ever again [Wink]

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Occasional
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Actually, War Chief, I share your confusion. I am not completely sure how OSC decides what Mormon related topics he lets stand or stops. Most of my comment came from what I heard him say in the past.

My problem with what you said was how condescending it sounded. It was a bit sarcastic.

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Dagonee
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Since OSC posted in this thread, it's fair to assume he is aware of it and would have locked it had he wished to.

If he is displeased I assume he'll lock it. Until then, there doesn't seem much of a reason to discuss it.

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pooka
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I don't think they're overly systematic about it. Some topics will always get a mod smackdown, and others it may depend on the tenor of the question and the range of responses it elicited. This original question did attempt to tie in with a theme that does come up in Card's work. The locked thread asked "how can a seemingly reasonable person like Mr. Card be a member of a church which blah blah blah." It's not like there aren't plentiful themes in Card's work to relate to that subject.

But I was glad to have his answer, and with the thread locked the original poster can't delete the thread.

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Brian J. Hill
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I disagree with the locking of that particular thread (mostly because I was interested in the OP's responses,) but I see the logic behind it. As OSC said, Hatrack is not the ideal spot to discuss Mormon doctrine and other Mormon-related issues. For that, OSC has set up the forums on his Nauvoo website. Of course, since OSC is a prominent member of the LDS faith, the Hatrack forums attract a disproportionate number of Mormons when compared to the country at large, so LDS topics occasionally do pop up.
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pooka
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I'm sure if OP is so inclined, they could reply here. There is a bit of a problem in that only church members are invited to Nauvoo. But people can always try www.mormon.org.
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Brian J. Hill
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I forgot that the Nauvoo Charter makes being LDS a pre-requisite. Still, it's a good place for discussions on Mormon doctrine.
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I Am The War Chief
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First off Occasional, wasn’t trying to be overly sarcastic [Wink] I am sorry if I came off that way, but its nice to know someone else hasn’t completely memorized the rulebook here.

Back on topic, there's always going to be misconceptions about different religions or the other. When people hear I am Jewish reform, they ask, "where’s your little hat"? When I respond that reform is indeed different than orthodox there's usually a fair bit of confusion. As usual though the best treatment of ignorance is simple education so I applaud you Dark as Night and farm girl for informing the public.

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brojack17
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quote:
Originally posted by Orson Scott Card:
There are also lies. It's worth remembering that there are many people - most of them born-again Christians - whose "ministry" consists of deliberately distorting history and/or making stuff up in order to keep people from believing the message of the Mormon missionaries - basically, trying to immunize people against Mormons.

The actions mentioned above my OSC. the reply by KoM, and a recent article I read in Wired Magazine named "The New Ateism. No Heave. No Hell. Just Science. Inside the Crusade Against Religion" just infuriate me. I am a Christian and have encountered many times Jehovah’s Witnesses and the nice guys in white shirts on bikes coming to my door. I let them give their spiel and politely tell them I am a Southern Baptist and do not feel I should convert today, and then wish them luck on their way. Why can’t people just accept there are people on this planet that believe different than us? And that is, in fact, ok!

In the Wired article, the writer talks about how “New Atheists” are not content to allow believers (of any faith) to get away with their stupid beliefs. Furthermore, they should not be allowed to ruin their children by forcing their beliefs on them. The funny thing is, the writer states one of the leaders in this movement strongly believes in democracy. That made me laugh out loud, since our democracy was founded on freedom of religion among other things.

Religious intolerance, either between faiths or non-believer to believer, is completely unacceptable.

I have no problem with Mormons, Catholics, Jews, Muslims, or non-believers. If people would apply what they have learned from religion, parents, or common sense, they will know not to judge, lest ye be judged. Or in secular terms, “Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones”. (or something like that)

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Glenorand
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I've always found it interesting howhumanity lets little differences shange how we view people. But there are respites. I am a member of the LDS faith, and an avid Scouter, and i can tell you that although there are a lot of misconceptions about religions, there are also a lot of people who are willing to try to find out what he truth is behind the religion. This last summer I went to Philmont New Mexico and spent two weeks building trail and backpacking with the Boy Scouts of America. And we had members of numerous faiths. Jews, Cathoics, Quakers, Baptists, and in nearly every case, there was a part of someones faith that was grossly misunderstood. And we all approached with the knowledge that none of us were going to convert each other, but that we were helping each other understand our various faiths. It was an amazing experience, getting to hear the truth behind various religions, as well as the person's personal view on the religion.
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