Is the Last Acceptable Prejudice No More?

I like Ross Douthat and all, but the inside Roman Catholic baseball discussions of divorce at his New York Times blog — NEW YORK friggin’ TIMES!! — are perhaps more appropriate for a parochial website like CTC than at the place for all that’s fit to print. Here’s a recent sampling. First Douthat quotes Pascal Emmanuel-Gobry:

I think this is a grace we often overlook. God’s law is as hard as His mercy is infinite. And none of us are righteous under the law. And none of us, if we are honest, can even be said to want to be righteous under the law, in every single dimension of our life. But, particularly in these delicate and demanding aspects of sexual life and life situations, the grace of wanting to want God’s will is already very precious and important. And is it not in those phases, where we are broken down, and all we can muster the strength to pray for is to want to want, or even to want to want to want, that the Church should be most present with the succor of her sacraments?

… If I am a divorced-remarried-unchaste person and, during the eucharistic liturgy, I cry out in my heart, “O Lord! I do not understand your law, and I do not have the will to follow it, but I love you, and I beg you for forgiveness of my sins and the grace to want to want to follow in your footsteps and to be able to humbly receive your body”, is this a contrition that is “sufficient” for me to be able to receive the Body of Christ?

I think so.

Douthat replies in part:

Whatever the complexities and shades-of-gray involved in human sin, it is very clear in Catholic teaching that the medicinal effect, the “succor” of communion, is inseparable (like a two-dose drug) from the succor of a good confession, and you simply can’t make a good confession, and thus be in a position to benefit spiritually from communion, if you don’t intend to take some positive step to separate yourself from a gravely sinful situation or arrangement. To use a higher-stakes version of the professional case Gobry references — if you work at a job that by its nature requires grave sin for full participation (let’s say, I dunno, you’re a lieutenant for the Wolf of Wall Street in his salad days), and you make a confession of sin but have no plan of any kind to disassociate yourself from the business, your confession is by definition insufficient, and saying “I do not have the will to stop defrauding people, Lord, but I pray to gain it” is a sign that you should be praying and not communing.

The same logic, then, would apply to someone in an institutional arrangement that amounts to public adultery under the church’s definitions. You need not have the full desire to change (of course everything is grayer than a term like “perfect contrition” might suggest), but the desire to have the desire is not enough: You need to have some intention to change your life, some idea of alteration, to confess and commune in good conscience.

Can anyone possibly imagine a Reformed Protestant writer for the New York Times blogging about union with Christ or the ordo salutis and the bearing of these debates on denominational politics with reference to American citizens that belong to NAPARC communions? If not, then why do some argue that the anti-Catholic prejudice still exists in the United States? I am well aware that it used to and I can well imagine Paul Blanshard‘s jaws tightening if he were to encounter Douthat while surfing the Times’ webpages. But Ross Douthat free and frequent comments on Roman Catholic faith and practice at the newspaper considered one of the most secular in the nation sure needs to be added to the calculations of anti-Catholic prejudice.

69 thoughts on “Is the Last Acceptable Prejudice No More?

  1. DG, No link to Douthat’s piece? No matter..

    I’ll join in on going negative, and say maybe the matter deals with how major newspaper publications have become marginalized, given the internet. What exactly do I mean? I think news aggregators, and RSS feeds are the way to go, and NYT becomes just one of the many source feeds into that. The precursor to that for (all about) me were the Real Clear websites, my favorite right now being RealClearScience.

    But to your point, I don’t think I could take seriously anyone who puts forth that there is an anti-catholic bias by our MSM. The media, to me, seems infatuated with Francis, and all things Catholic. I’ll check out your other links, but without looking, yes: there is no anti-catholic bias in this country. I’d like to see someone prove me wrong.

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  2. I believe the media kow-tow to or suffer Romanists because of their sheer size and influence and because of their power as a voting bloc. And they have something for everyone — libs like their stance on the death penalty, social justice, and the hippie pope; conservatives dig the pro-life and traditional values. NAPARCers are not on the radar. And who cares?

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  3. Being Catholic (or at least nominally Catholic) still has some cultural cachet. Being Presbyterian? Not so much. Being Baptist? Definitely not. There are enough lapsed Catholics and people with memories of their Catholic childhoods out there to make it socially relevant.

    Being Caller Catholic is not, and will not be, cool, however. As soon as Jason figures this out he’s moving on.

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  4. Being Presbyterian? Not so much.

    My daughter had a music program at her Baptist school last night, centered around Christian America and they dropped a line about the American Revolution being a Presbyterian Rebellion, something I never heard of before. I guess it’s true, I’m not smarter than a 2nd grader..(emoticon).

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  5. C’mon, E — being a Caller Papist is so uncool it’s cool in an ironic, non-linear sort of way. Rome is enough of a wax nose that the Callers will be busy shaping it until the day it melts away.

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  6. Meanwhile, increase numbers of Hispanics & Latinos continue to reject the Call:

    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB20001424052702303417104579546130945494804

    Latinos’ Spiritual Movement

    Increasing Share in U.S. Are Leaving Catholicism and Joining Evangelical Churches

    By Miriam Jordan

    Updated May 8, 2014 6:45 a.m. ET

    LOS ANGELES—Both Miriam Alvarez and Gloria Muniz were raised Roman Catholic. Today, Ms. Alvarez is a devout Seventh-Day Adventist, while Ms. Muniz hasn’t been to any church in years.

    The two women represent distinct religious trends among Hispanics in the U.S.: going from Catholic to evangelical Christian and from Catholic to religiously unaffiliated, according to a new Pew Research Center study.

    Since the 1990s, the Roman Catholic Church in the U.S. has seen Hispanics, many of them arrivals in a massive immigration wave, help bolster its shrinking ranks. The study released Wednesday by Pew, a nonpartisan think tank, suggests a religious churning in the fast-growing population group, the country’s second-largest.

    The share of Hispanics who are Catholic likely has been declining for at least the past few decades, Pew said, but from 2010 to 2013 it fell 12 percentage points to 55%, the study found. Nearly one in four Hispanic adults in the U.S. are now former Catholics, based on responses to Pew’s poll, and a growing share identify as religiously unaffiliated or Protestant.

    The trends mirror what has been occurring in Mexico, Brazil and other Latin American countries, where evangelical Christian denominations such as Pentecostalism have gained ground at the expense of Catholicism. They also reflect wider shifts in the U.S., where Catholicism has been losing followers and the share of people who identify as religiously unaffiliated has grown. From 2007 to 2012, for example, Pew found the share of the Americans who describe themselves as religiously unaffiliated rose to 19.6% from 15.3%.

    Hispanics are still significantly more Catholic and less Protestant than the U.S. population as a whole, the Pew study found. About 48% of the general public is Protestant, compared with 22% of Hispanics, while only 22% of the general population is Catholic. The unaffiliated share of the two groups is similar—18% for Hispanics and 20% for the general population.

    Sister Mary Ann Walsh, spokeswoman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said in response to the study that the church is working to increase the ranks of Hispanic seminarians and priests, as well as the number of Hispanics in Catholic schools. There has been a “huge increase” in the number of Hispanic deacons who work in parishes, she said, to 15% of active permanent deacons. The church has also been seeking to advance Hispanic leadership in lay service, with 43% of those in leadership-formation programs currently Hispanic, she said.

    Of the 12 percentage-point decline reported by Pew, she said, “It doesn’t surprise me because … we are becoming more and more a secular society. All the churches are seeing the effect of people becoming unaffiliated. Hispanics and everybody else are affected by the same social influences.”

    Experts cite the rise of religious pluralism as a key reason for the trends. “Latinos are growing up in a religious culture of choice, with the possibility of switching religion or ending up in no religion at all,” said Timothy Matovina, theology professor at University of Notre Dame.

    Pastor Luis Liñán Olivera, a Peruvian immigrant, helped establish Seventh-Day Adventist churches catering to Spanish-speaking immigrants in Pennsylvania, Delaware and Virginia before taking the helm of a church in a Latino enclave of Hollywood three years ago. Once an altar boy, Mr. Liñán said many of his flock also are former Catholics.

    The more participatory nature of evangelical Christianity appeals to congregants like Ms. Alvarez. The Mexican immigrant says that “praying here with my brethren has helped me solve problems.” She believes it helped cure the asthma of her 7-year-old son, Darwin.

    Membership at the church has doubled to about 300 families since 2011, the pastor said.

    As immigration slows, a growing share of Hispanics are native-born. Many, like Ms. Muniz, have become religiously unaffiliated, the study found. A child of Mexican immigrants, Ms. Muniz said she was baptized and attended Mass regularly. But as an adult, “I’m not into following a religion,” she said.

    To be sure, though the percentage of Hispanics who identify as Catholics in the U.S. has been falling, Latinos still account for an increasingly large share of all U.S. Catholics—about one-third in 2013—thanks to the growth of the Latino population. Hispanics account for about 17% of the U.S. population, up from 12% at the turn of the century.

    “If such trends continue, a day could come when a majority of Catholics in the U.S. will be Hispanic even if the majority of Hispanics might no longer be Catholic,” said Alan Cooperman, Pew’s religion-research director.

    The Pew study was based on a survey conducted between May and July last year among a sample of 5,103 Hispanic adults. Pew used surveys conducted in 2006 and 2010 to make comparisons and track trends.

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  7. AB, the thumbnail explanation from your link:

    The label “Presbyterian” was a much more ambiguous designation than it is at present. Employed broadly as a synonym for a Calvinist, a dissenter, or a republican, the term was used with considerable imprecision in the eighteenth century. Furthermore, it was used as a demagogic tool to inflame popular passions. The term Presbyterian carried with it the connotation of a fanatical, anti-monarchical rebel.

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  8. erik, I rarely say I am an elder anymore because most Americans think that’s an office in the Latter Day Saints. I prefer bishop.

    The ordinary and perpetual offices in the church are those given for the ministry of the Word of God, of rule, and of mercy. Those who share in the rule of the church may be called elders (presbyters), bishops, or church governors. Those who minister in mercy and service are called deacons. Those elders who have been endued and called of Christ to labor also in the Word and teaching are called ministers.

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  9. Darryl, fair enough.

    The thought had occurred to me, “haven’t heard much of that species around here, of late.”

    Happy Friday.

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  10. Bishop DG,

    I dunno, it is kind of a stretch to compare a cantankerous elder of an OPC congregation to an 18 year old bicycle rider who has never been properly introduced to a razor. If you stroll into the local supermarket sporting a tie, short sleeve oxford, bike helmet, and a backpack, then I could see some confusion ensuing.

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  11. Erik,

    I saw that article and wondered how much of a crisis it is calling for those callers who laud Rome’s size as a major selling point.

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  12. I think so.

    So what? If Douthat is such a good Catholic, why would he think that himself thinking so is worth a gnat’s fart? Or questions the received infallible magisterium?

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  13. Rube, it was new to me today that our BCO includes such acceptable titles for these men. I look forward to seeing the reaction to one of our local Governors, when I use that title with them. When and if they balk, I’ll have the citation from our constitution at the ready. The joys of being an Orthodox Presbyterian ay ay ay!

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  14. CW / Unificator,

    Like I said on Twitter, you can’t make this stuff up. Those were just the first two tweets from each’s respective timelines.

    Let us pray.

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  15. Personally, I like the imprecision of the term. It’s certainly more precise than “culture transformer.”

    “The label “Presbyterian” was a much more ambiguous designation than it is at present. Employed broadly as a synonym for a Calvinist, a dissenter, or a republican, the term was used with considerable imprecision in the eighteenth century. Furthermore, it was used as a demagogic tool to inflame popular passions. The term Presbyterian carried with it the connotation of a fanatical, anti-monarchical rebel.”

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  16. I’d like to see Douthat comment about this:

    The miracle attributed to the intercession of Paul VI was witnessed in the United States in 2001. It involved the healing of an unborn child, which was found to have serious problems and a high risk of brain damage: the foetus’ bladder was damaged and doctors reported ascites (presence of liquid in the abdomen) and anhydramnios (absence of fluid in the amniotic sac). All attempts to correct the problem proved futile and in the end the doctors said the child would either die in the womb or it would be born with severe renal impairment. Abortion was offered as an option but the mother refused. Instead, she took the advice given to her by a nun who was a friend of the family and had met Montini: she decided to pray for Paul VI’s intercession using a fragment of the Pope’s vestments which the nun had given her.

    Ten weeks later the results of the medical tests showed a substantial improvement in the child’s health and it was born by Caesarean section in the 39th week of pregnancy. The case was presented to the former Postulator of the Cause, the Jesuit Paolo Molinari – who passed away last week – in Rome. Faith weekly Credere revealed that the diocesan inquiry was launched in 2003 and all witnesses agree that the case in question cannot be explained scientifically.

    Can you imagine this “miracle” being an item on General Assembly agenda and the commissioners saying, “sure, let’s approve this so we can get to lunch”?

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  17. So much for the effectiveness of John Paul II’s catechism:

    CWL: In your address to the consistory, you ask whether we can, “in the present situation, presuppose without further ado that the engaged couple shares the belief in the mystery that is signified by the sacrament and that they really understand and affirm the canonical conditions for the validity of the marriage.” You ask whether the presumption of validity from which canon law proceeds is often “a legal fiction.” But can the church afford not to make this presumption? How could the church continue to marry couples in good faith if it assumed that many of them were not really capable of entering into sacramental marriage because they were, as you put it somewhere else in your speech, “baptized pagans”?

    Kasper: That’s a real problem. I’ve spoken to the pope himself about this, and he said he believes that 50 percent of marriages are not valid. Marriage is a sacrament. A sacrament presupposes faith. And if the couple only want a bourgeois ceremony in a church because it’s more beautiful, more romantic, than a civil ceremony, you have to ask whether there was faith, and whether they really accepted all the conditions of a valid sacramental marriage—that is, unity, exclusivity, and also indissolubility. The couples, when they get married, they want it because it’s stable. But many think, “Well, if we fail, we have the right.” And then already the principle is denied. Many canon lawyers tell me that today in our pluralistic situation we cannot presuppose that couples really assent to what the church requires. Often it is also ignorance. Therefore you have to emphasize and to strengthen prematrimonial catechesis. It’s often done in a very bureaucratic way. No, we have to provide catechesis. I know some parishes in Rome where couples have to attend catechesis, and the pastor himself does it. We must do much more in prematrimonial catechesis and use pastoral work and so on because we cannot presuppose that everybody who is a formal Christian also has the faith. It wouldn’t be realistic.

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  18. Can anyone possibly imagine a Reformed Protestant writer for the New York Times blogging about union with Christ or the ordo salutis and the bearing of these debates on denominational politics with reference to American citizens that belong to NAPARC communions?

    Can anyone possibly imagine a Reformed Protestant writer for the New York Times?

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  19. Will S.
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 10:26 am | Permalink
    Can anyone possibly imagine a Reformed Protestant writer for the New York Times blogging about union with Christ or the ordo salutis and the bearing of these debates on denominational politics with reference to American citizens that belong to NAPARC communions?

    Can anyone possibly imagine a Reformed Protestant writer for the New York Times?

    Sure, as long as he bashes the Religious Right. Liberals love to hear both sides of the same side.

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  20. Do you really find people think elder is Mormon? I suppose maybe in America in the last few years Mormonism has achieved a greater visibility. But don’t you find people think you’re a Papist if you say bishop? I’ve never heard a Presbyterian elder describe himself as a bishop before.

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  21. Agreed. I think I’d just rather take the time to explain the term elder than use the term bishop. Not a big issue though🙂

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  22. Alexander, as long as we’re taking time to avoid confusions, can we put a moratorium on blithely connecting Mormons with cults?

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  23. Alexander, I’m saying it seems untoward to ascribe a loaded sociological term to a religious group. Just as there are two kinds of anti-Catholicism (good and bad), there are two kinds of anti-Mormonism, and the bad kind uses the c-word to uncritically associate Mormons with all manner of anti-social groups, which doesn’t jibe with my own experiences with false religionists who tend to be pretty good neighbors.

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  24. Zrim-

    First off: I never used the word cult. It was you who first used the word cult in relation to mormonism.

    Second, whether or not mormons make good neighbours is beside the point: what they are peddling are lies. Now, because of this I pity mormons- as I do Romanists- because they are being deceived into a lost eternity. I watched the PBS documentary on mormonism and as it arrived at the modern day, watching its people go through the motions of what they thought was vital, Spirit-wrought Christianity but was just empty, soul destroying ritual and moralism, I felt a deep sense of sorrow for them. They are under a delusion.

    Now, if you want to avoid offence and not throw them into the same bag as the Branch Davidians et. al. well you go ahead. But while you play semantics they’re going to Hell.

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  25. I always understood a cult to be a group that denied the ecumenical creeds, the trinity and the deity of Christ.
    Mormonism qualifies, Rome doesn’t – though we might want to argue in another sense about a papal cult or following.
    Neither is Mormonism a sect or schism.
    So what’s the beef?

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  26. Exactly Bob.

    Although one could argue that Rome’s mariology is a practical denial of the Trinity, if not a theological one.

    The point to remember is that neither the Church of Rome nor mormonism are Christian and should be engaged with- if at all- in that light.

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  27. Alexander, the point wasn’t who used what word first. It was simply to say that in the course of using words like Mormon in relation to other words to delineate office (e.g elder, bishop), it reminded me of the careless way we often use the word cult in relation to Mormonism.

    I’m not disagreeing with an assessment of Mormonism as heterodox. But you’ll allow a pass on the hyperventilating about delusions and sorrow. True, there is ordinarily no salvation outside the church, but it seems sufficient to maintain the marks of the church and call those outside her to join without having to go all brimstone.

    “Play semantics”? So I guess you won’t sign my petition for the moratorium. Fine, but, Alexander, I’m just trying to put hands to faith like you personal holiness fellows keep telling us icky confessionalists to do, as in dissenting from maligning the names of unbelieving neighbors with slurs. You know, do unto others and all that?

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  28. Bumper Sticker Bob, the beef has been explained. You may not agree, but the point is that the c-word is a modern sociological term and really wasn’t used to describe religious heterodoxy until Walter Martin came along. Sure, all cultists are heterodox, but not all heterodox are cultists.

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  29. Zrim-

    For a start you’re the one who keeps changing the confession. My church still holds to the original WCF- and not just as lip service.

    Second, mormonism is more than mere heterodoxy- it’s a different religion. I don’t know how you can sit blithely by and say that your heathen or Mormon friends may find salvation through extraordinary means. That clause about salvation within the church is not there as a license to leave people where they are. But then you view everything through what licence it gives you to do what you want so I don’t know why I’m surprised. But Mormons and Romanists are not merely “outside the church”- they are actively pursuing a road that will lead to their ruin.

    And third: it was Mr. Hart who said he has stopped referring to himself as an elder because of its association with mormonism! Where’s the snippy, oh so precious retort to him?

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  30. Alexander, single persons do not change confessions, Reformed churches and denominations amend them. And they do so because they believe them fallible. I wonder just how Reformed are those who have never sought to amend fallible documents and even brag about their untouched originality.

    I don’t know how you’re distinguishing heterodoxy from “another religion.” Heterodoxy is to depart from or otherwise be at doctrinal variance with orthodoxy. Yours sounds like a hyper-distinction and another variant of proving too much, i.e. “cult, another religion.” I don’t know how you’re getting from my points that those outside the church “may find salvation through extraordinary means.” But if there are hypocrites within then it only makes sense that there are sheep without. Nobody but God alone knows who either are, and it is only for us to define the church and call all persons to her, at once assuming the best of those who cleave without controversy and maintaining a due caution for those who persist in remaining outside.

    What is the problem with distancing oneself from Mormonism by way of language? More power to Darryl for it. It’s why we should drop, for example, terms like “worship hall” for “sanctuary” since it sounds so JW-ish (sorry, C-Dubs), or “foyer” for “narthex” since it sounds so secular. But I’m also not entirely convinced of Darryl’s linguistic reasoning–“elder” has a distinctively P&R sense to my ear, while “bishop” actually sounds more Charismatic as in Bishop and Senior Pastor TD Jakes at the Charismatic Church of Everlasting Joy in Christ Megachurch Potter’s House of God and Conference Center.

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  31. Now I’m confused. When Mitt Romney was running for President I was assured by die-hard Republican Dutch Calvinists that he worshipped the same god as we did. Now that he’s returned to private life he may have been downgraded, though.

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  32. When Romney announced, I was looking forward to the media entering the realm of Mormonism and providing ANY reporting at all on his history, vows, ceremonies he must have undertaken as a big player.

    that was a big mistake thinking the media was going to lift a finger to report anything at all…

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  33. Whatever Grim. S’long as you understand what you are sayin’ nobody else has to.
    IOW I’ll let let let, i.e. sometimes the connotation becomes the definition.

    As in welcome to reality.

    You’re welcome.

    Sociology?
    You need to talk to Leithart.

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  34. Zrim-

    Well, you don’t hold to the LC’s application of the 7th Commandment and as far as I’m aware that hasn’t been officially altered by the OPC. Maybe it has?

    I define heterodox a group or person who would be found within a Christian body- or could be reasonably argued to be within such- but who holds views at odds with orthodoxy. Ergo, a charismatic could be described as heterodox. I wouldn’t label a mohammedin as heteredox though. Mormons are not within the visible church; their distinctive doctrines are clearly at odds with the teaching of the Bible and therefore any doctrines they hold which may sound orthodox are made void by association. But this word play really is ridiculous.

    Of course there are sheep outwith the visible church- which is why we should be praying for them to be brought in not saying “well, they’re a mormon so they make good neighbours, they live a “moral” life so I’ll leave them be. Who am I to say they should lay aside their heretical religion and seek Christ within the visible church?” You are happy with your neighbours carrying on in delusion; I’m not.

    So, it’s ok for Mr. Hart to distance himself from mormonism by using a term everyone associates with Romanism, but when I argued I’d rather take the time to explain the term elder than use the term bishop I’m being offensive and divisive to mormons?! Again: you are the one who used the term cult in relation to mormonism first: in a post criticising me for my divisive language (note I have never actually called mormonism a cult in this discussion). This whole argument- which you have manufactured- is because you brought up the term cult. This is clearly another example of your “Alexander says x so I must say the opposite of x” syndrome. You want to talk about the power of language, here is a prime example: how to start a non-argument by inserting divisive and combative language into a discussion in order to tell your opponent not to use divisive and combative language.

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  35. Alexander, you’re getting a little too exercised over here. My original comment wasn’t to say you were being divisive and offensive–it was really a tangential point. But if you want to keep this a-going… Your definition of heterodox seems too latitudinarian. To be at odds with orthodoxy is to be unorthodox. You may not like it, but some of us are simply content with slotting Mormonism as heretical and outside the pale of Christian orthodoxy and don’t quite understand the need to bluster and fume about its extra special hide-the-women-and-children aberrations.

    The point isn’t to be spiritually unconcerned for the lost. It’s to be concerned for not slandering the names and reputations of perfectly good neighbors and citizens, which is what most Mormons are. It’s possible to be concerned for both the spiritually lost and their earthly reputations, but you seem unable to grasp that and more inclined to conflate some religiously unorthodox with anti-social groups.

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  36. But I didn’t slander them. That’s why I’m getting “exercised”. If anything my original post was more favourable towards Mormons than Romanists. What did I say that was “slanderous”? It couldn’t have been using the word Mormon since you also use it. I don’t Mormons can be good neighbours; but I also see that they are dead in trespasses and sins and in need of Christ. You came after me; I merely defended myself.

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  37. Where did I conflate Mormons with anti-social groups? Give me the quote please. I did not use the word cult. My beef is that terms like “religiously unorthodox” are euphemistic and we cannot afford euphemisms when it comes to our eternal destiny.

    You’re so concerned with the reputation of “the Mormons” well I’m concerned for my reputation. So please quote what in my original post was slanderous and conflating of Mormons with anti-social groups.

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  38. Correction: my first response to you implied I viewed mormonism as a cult. I didn’t say it in a declarative statement but a straight forward reading would read it as such and I wanna keep the scales balanced. My apologies.

    Still like to know what slander my original post contained.

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  39. Alex, you gotta unnerstan sumpin.
    Way back when a certin sumbody who wurked in the public sckool system was exercised about Christian folks going to law to prevent their 4th graid chillun from being indoctrinated with LGBT*^%$# propaganda in the public/guvernment skool, Oakland Calif. to be exact.
    In that it was not quite the propper thing to do.
    So you got to read sum of the innerchanges of opiyuns in that light.
    Straining gnats and swallowing horse manure kamels.

    Or you can do it like Jason Stellman does it and just not read my thair posts.
    Leastways that’s what he does to me, but you haf to axe him if it wurks cause he doesn’t answer my calls.
    It’s not fare, I no, but that’s life. Siesta la’ vee or sumpthin like that.

    cheers

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  40. Alexander, you’re making this all about you. I am not “going after you.” I am making a more general point about language in relation to certain groups of people, not what you personally have or have not done.

    It is one thing to rightly maintain the heretical charge of Mormonism. It is another to rightly protect the reputation of our particular Mormon neighbors, and it would seem that in order to do that we might exercise more restraint in using a loaded sociological term to describe them (cult/ists). Maybe keep the term reserved for those who do things like prey on the weak, take their money, claim sexual rights to their spouses, disconnect them from their families, and finally serve them up laced Kool-Aid as bullets graze their heads. Feel me now?

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  41. So, Zrim, you just decided to hijack my onnocuous question to Mr. Hart to make your own point? Well when I’m accused of being uncharitable and slandering people’s reputations it kinda does become about me. And FYI, whether someone knows Christ is more important to me than whether they have a good reputation in the eyes of the world.

    So, sorry, I’m not going to give into your usual bullying and ridiculing tactics which you employ against those with whom you disagree. You slandered me and I’m not going to forget about it.

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  42. So, sorry, I’m not going to give into your usual bullying . . . which you employ against those with whom you disagree.

    I’d say ding ding ding, but then I’d be called a ding a ling.

    I had Mormon missionaries for neighbors for awhile. Nice folks, but they don’t cotton real well to the fact that Mormonism is not Christian, ergo they are not . . . .
    Same goes for Rome and Romanists, though they add to the truth, while Mormonism never had it.

    cheers

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