Wednesday, April 11, 2012
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.