Is anti-Mormonism Bigotry? Is The Apostasy of a High Priest an anti-Mormon book? - P. Brannock responds.
"Anti-Mormon" is a term generally applied by Mormons to anything that raises questions, no matter how legitimate
, about their faith or culture.
In the same way that Mormons will typically argue that labeling their religion a "cult" places an inappropriately negative and emotional charge on the discussion for the purpose of supporting an unfair bias; their label, "anti-Mormon", serves this same purpose and is used liberally to marginalize questions
that the general membership are not supposed to think about
Reading material labeled or deemed to be "anti-Mormon" material
is contrary to the strict counsel of Mormon Church leaders. There are, of course exceptions and those exceptions will be the basis upon which the Church will argue that members are not "forbidden" to read "anti-Mormon" material.
Members of my own family have openly declared their intention NOT to read my book on
the basis of it being "anti-Mormon". Consider, if you will, the ramifications of that. Think about a situation, for conversation's sake, in which a child or sibling will not even thoughtfully consider the views of her/his own father, or brother, or son, on one of the most important questions of life, and engage in thoughtful dialogue with him on those views, because of a dogmatic edict to refrain from considering alternative points of view.
What kind of God would this be who would attempt to sustain the faith of His followers by making sure they avoid thoughtful consideration of all questions relevant to that faith. Does this promote intelligence? Does it promote objectivity? What of the everlasting soul of the dissenter? Shall he be abandoned for dissent as opposed to being engaged in thoughtful dialogue about the truth of things. Do Mormons doubt that the truth will prevail in thoughtful and forthright discussion?
Consider the following quotes from The Apostasy of a High Priest
"Mormon priesthood leaders, generally, were relatively good, well intentioned people, in my observation. Many, if not most of their priesthood decisions seemed quite supportable."
"The Mormon leadership in general … has, for the most part, an apparent legacy of nobility in purpose that continues today, and is, for whatever critics may say about the Church, quite impressive. They continue to direct the submissive obedience that they have acquired from their followers into strong family and moral values, meaningful business and academic contributions, and civic leadership that is, at times, inspirational."
"For whatever occasional departures from this norm that may arise, many agree that there seems little apparent question that the simple goodness of the Mormon social track record outweighs the occasional Mormon blunders."
"The Mormon Church takes great care to involve itself in good works. This is a matter of specific Mormon theology as well. Good works are required of Mormons by edict in their own uniquely canonized book of scripture known as the Doctrine and Covenants."
"I think Mormons are found to be sincere, as a general rule. Sincerity is a powerful thing."
Does this sound "anti-Mormon" to you? Ironically, I believe that Mormons deserve every fair consideration in life, even though I think their theology has serious issues that I can no longer accept to be true. Does that make me "anti-Mormon"? I don't think so. I just don't agree with their doctrine and I think I'm obliged to point that out since I was a High Priest who converted a number of people to the Church.
Conversely, in my experience, Mormons, as often as not, consider me to be unworthy of every fair consideration in life
, because of my apostasy and, accordingly, my alliance with Satan. I have been "unfriended" on facebook by members of my own family for taking an outspoken position about Mormon theology. I have been ostracized, unfairly condemned, and marginalized by Mormons who are too afraid to read my book, but surmise that I am evil on the basis of its title. Does this make them "anti-Critic", and hostile to dissenters? What do you think?
To recognize that the Mormon Quorum of Twelve apostles are grifters, is not to hate the naïve members of their cult or to wish or promote any ill will or unreasonable discrimination upon those members. The misunderstanding, I think, gets some of its fuel from an understandable point of ambiguity that is hard to steer clear of.
Strictly speaking, to be anti-Mormon, is to be “against” people who are Mormons, for being Mormon. I think it’s hard to be anti-Mormon without crossing over into the land of bigotry. Unfortunately, being anti-Mormon is often referred to as “anti-Mormonism”. That's an ambiguous label.
Wikipedia now holds that “Anti-Mormonism is discrimination, persecution, hostility or prejudice directed at members of the Latter Day Saint movement, particularly The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.” This treatment of the term is grossly inadequate, and probably influenced heavily by contributions from Mormon manipulators who benefit from a certain lack of clear distinction between being anti-Mormon, and anti-Mormon-Deception
Many of us, myself, being a former Mormon High Priest included, refer to the beliefs and teachings of the Mormon Church as “Mormonism”. I am unabashedly anti-Mormonism, if what we mean by that is anti-Mormon-Deception. I am not anti-Mormon. I do, however, favor the view that reasonable discrimination against naivete’, wherever it may be found, is in the common interest of any culture.
In the end of the day, to label an anti-Mormon as a “bigot” is understandable. Not always appropriate, but understandable. There is certainly an element of bigotry in any arbitrary ill will heaped upon the sincere victims of Mormonism. They should be compassionately viewed with at least as much deference, kindness, consideration and respect as any child taken with fantasy, or any aborigine sheltered from the modern world. To the extent possible, where appropriate, their fantasies and notions should be overlooked and their capacity for meaningful and significant social contributions supported and enjoyed. I am grateful for those who, throughout my life, treated me this way, before my awakening to the fraud of Mormonism.
To arbitrarily condemn those who subscribe to anti-Mormonism, on the other hand, as “bigots”, with no further discussion of the matter, serves the manipulative and divisive goals of those self serving Mormon grifters who call themselves Prophets, Seers, and Revelators.
These grifters are pretenders
. They have presumptuously donned the mantle of spiritual authority with false claims of divine agency and they are violating the personal space of American institutions with ridiculous claims that tie up courts, disrupt lives, and distract public attention from the reality of their obnoxious and illegitimate exploitation of the faith and sincerity of the naïve.
Like the unwise parents who seek the social approval of their abusive teenagers for parental choices and decisions, some elements of American culture empower malicious exploitation of faith by extending excessive deference to that which does not even deserve respect.
also see...The Paradox of Bigotry and Mormonism