Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Dissing My Religion


I rarely get political here, and that's not my intention today either. I suspect my readership is about evenly comprised of liberals and conservatives, Republicans and Democrats...with a mix of Independents and Libertarians thrown in for good measure. And I like it that way.

For the record, my views no longer fit neatly into any one party platform. Liberal and conservative, depending upon the issue, I now choose candidates based on character and integrity as much or more than party affiliations or positions. I also respect every person's right to support whatever candidate(s) he or she feels inclined to support, and I have no problem agreeing to disagree on issues and policies. I enjoy and appreciate the give and take of respectful political discussion.

Sadly, respectful political discussion is increasingly hard to come by, and personal attacks have become part and parcel of every race. Recent words from Lawrence O'Donnell of MSNBC have left me fuming, because in an attempt to discredit Mitt Romney, this unscrupulous commentator has launched an attack on my religion. The hostile tone of O'Donnell's remarks, along with their departure from anything even approaching the truth, disturbs and offends me on every level. Even more disturbing and offensive is the complete lack of response from MSNBC, a news organization that should hold Mr. O'Donnell (and itself) responsible for dispensing vitriol and failing to vet material.

How is it that Lawrence O'Donnell has called the LDS faith, practiced by 14 million people worldwide and 5 1/2 million citizens of this country, "demented, fraudulent, and ridiculous" without repercussions to his career? And where is the justification for his latest spew on MSNBC, excerpted as follows:

"Mormonism was created by a guy in upstate New York in 1830 when he got caught having sex with the maid and explained to his wife that God told him to do it..." (It gets worse, but I don't want to give his verbal garbage additional play on my blog.)

Surely there can be no excuse for this kind of disrespect in the public arena. Not only is it patently untrue, but it's completely inappropriate in every way imaginable. I am dumbfounded that any of this nonsense would make it past the cutting room floor, and I am troubled by what I sincerely hope will not become a trend.

We, the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, deserve better. And so does our national discourse.

26 comments:

Kathe W. said...

You know I truly wonder when all this nonsense about religions started....didn't this country begin because of religious persecution and arent we supposed to have "freedom of (or is it from) religion"?
what truly cheeses me off is any religion telling me what I can and cannot do. The only rule we should have in my humble opinion is the Golden Rule:
"One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Golden_Rule
That's how I was raised and so far it has worked for me. I mind my own business, live an honest life and don't tell people how to live theirs. Of course if everyone did that there probably would be no wars.

Grandma Honey said...

Sadly, it's going to get even worse once we get out of the Primarys. I've been dreading this all along. They can't dig up dirt about Romney, so they are going to go after his religion. Why it's okay to attack the Mormons and not other religions is beyond me. Not that any religion should be attacked...it shouldn't. But if they were to say things about the Catholics, or Methodists, or any other religion it would not be tolerated. It's only okay to attack us.

Brian Miller said...

ugh...they will pull out no stops to further their own agendas...no matter who they bring down...sad though as in doing so they alienate so many people...

and our political ideologies dont differ far...registered independant that plays both sides depeneding on the issues....

Terra said...

Shame on that tv network for having no comment on those ugly words. Not even suspending him for a month?

jen said...

Sue Anderson for president! Who's wih me?

Eva Gallant said...

I totally agree, Sue. I'm not of your faith, but have a deep respect for it and all faiths. I'm afraid things will get worse before the election is over.

JDaniel4's Mom said...

It looks like this race for the presidency is going to get really messy.

Em said...

i totally agree with you. there is such a double standard. if it were any other religion or if someone were talking about skin color or sexual orientation that just would not be accepted, but for some reason it has been ok to attack the mormon faith in this political election. i am not pleased.

Momza said...

You know that I share your feelings about this issue. And while I feel the hairs standing up on the back of my neck, as the ugly political tide starts to creep up onto my front porch, as it were, I am also curious to see WHO steps up and says, "No More." If Romney were of any other faith, or skin color, it would be a fatal error to use that against him in any political or social arena. Something's gotta give...He's going to be the next President of the United States. BTW there's an online petition calling for Mr. O'Donnell's job.

Stacy Crawford said...

Agreed

Jenny said...

Oh my heavens. The obnoxiousness never fails to astonish me.

I'm sorry. What awful comments.

Cherie said...

I hadn't heard any of this but it does not surprise me. Some of these news shows are allowed to get away with alot. It is disgusting!
UGH!

Lisalulu said...

always informative, sometimes I feel like I live in a cave!! THANK YOU SUE btw I hate politics so I do live in a cave when 'they' talk.

Sarah said...

This situation is interesting to me because of the way such comments are received.

O'Donnell is trying to make a personal attack on Mitt Romney.

Instead, he makes an awful accusation about an entire religion.

And this accusation, then, becomes a personal attack to each member of that church.

So he succeeded in making a personal attack, but it wasn't against the person he thought it was... and I'm sitting here with my heart broken by some guy I've never met.

It's a gross way to do politics.

Gail said...

Oh, boy, do I agree. I think they want only things that sell the news, not the truth.

At a meeting our new company leader was introducing himself and he stated he had come from Amish country...and all of them smelled funny. I'm not Amish but I was offended by this uncalledfor remark by someone who was supposed to lead us. I looked at the person next to me and said, Was that as offensive as I think it was? He agreed. He went to the new boss and the boss asked, Is she Amish?? He still didn't get it!! The boss said, tell her I'm sorry.

In a world that has become so politically correct it's sickening, I can't imagine that this was even aired.

I am so sorry.

I hope you have written them.

Wander said...

Sue, I agree that that mans opinion is nasty and vitriolic, not OK for any one in the public to behave that way...
Having said that the smear machine works both way's...How many stories has the FOX news corporation spread that were patently untrue...how many mean, and or false things have Rush, Coulter, Beck, Pailin and many more "entertainers" spread while acting to carry news. I understand that this hit close to home for you...and for that I am regretful, but it is sad to ignore all the religious race or personal slurs of others because they didn't hit close to your religion.

yaya said...

Living here in the "mission field" as we call it, has made me ignore most idiotic statements about our religion. I hear it almost every day, but atleast I can answer anyone's questions and can explain what they don't understand. But when jerks can have access to TV that millions watch and make statement like that it does make the hair on my head stand up! I hope he pays the price for his stupid remarks.

Pondside said...

I'm old enough to remember when Americans thought that a Catholic wasn't fit to be President. It seems that things haven't progressed much if the capability of leading is linked to race, religion or gender. I hope that the discourse gets better...or perhaps everyone should turn off their TVs and radios and vote on their views of what the candidates actually have to say.

karen said...

I didn't actually see this on TV but I heard about it and was appalled. We're all going to have to stand up and be counted on this issue, I think. And hang on tight - it's going to be a bumpy ride.

Caroline said...

Oh, Sue. I am deeply offended too. It hurts my heart that anyone would say such horrible things about my Mormon friends and their faith.
I don't watch MSNBC (or much television at all for that matter) and hadn't heard about this. I think this commentator should apologize. And I think this guy just made himself look completely ignorant. He should try reading.

likeschocolate said...

It sadens me that religion is still an issue in a day when Americans pride themselves for being open minded. Whoever the cadidate is shouldn't they be judged by their character alone. It wasn't too long ago when Jack Kennedy stood before the nation and tested the limits of religion than why can't Mitt. I hope some day this will change.

Judie said...

I have certainly heard a lot of bird droppings out of the mouths of people this year, and I can honestly say that I have given no thought to the fact that Mitt Romney is a Mormon. I have many Mormon friends here in Tucson and their faith never ever prevented me from holding them dear as friends. There are radicals on both sides, Sue. Just scrape 'um off!!

Splendid Little Stars said...

I couldn't agree with you more! It literally makes me sick to my stomach. Whatever happened to the truth?

momto8 said...

I stopped watching Tv because of this.

Farmer's Wyfe said...

The way our media, politicians, general public is acting lately in regards to respecting others who may differ from them is so juvenile and disrespectful, it boggles my mind how people sleep at night. It makes me wonder how civilized we really are when we can't keep to matters that not only really matter, but are also respectful and NECESSARY and TRUE. Shame, SHAME on the media and on those who care so little for their fellow mankind. I couldn't agree with you more. "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

anitamombanita said...

The man's an idiot...and shame on MSNBC for tolerating it.

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