I apologize. I really was hoping to move on from this soapbox, but I could not pass up commenting on a recent article that appeared in the Deseret News titled “Romney campaign has LDS in spotlight.” Here, Frank Pignanelli starts off the piece by saying:
Pignanelli; “A person extremely intolerant of creeds, beliefs, etc., other than his/her own.” Such is the standard dictionary definition of a bigot. Unfortunately, this describes too many Americans, because of their personal view toward Mormons.
Well, thanks for clearing that up. According to Mr. Pignanelli’s dictionary we now have proof that every Mormon who believes in Joseph Smith’s First Vision account (at least the one that the Mormon Church considers to be “official”) can now be classified as a bigot. According to Joseph Smith, when he asked God which of all the churches were true, he was allegedly told:
“I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: ‘they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof'” (Joseph Smith–History 1:19).
Gee, doesn’t this sound rather “bigoted” towards the creeds and beliefs that I and millions of other Christians hold? Doesn’t this tend to belittle the doctrinal beliefs of millions of Bible-believing Christians? Now a Mormon may argue, “Wait a minute, this is God talking!” Such a rebuttal becomes irrelevant in that I have yet to meet a Mormon who does not share this view; so if we are to use Pignanelli’s standard, all Mormons are bigots.
Now do I personally believe this? Absolutely not! But I hope in repeating this argument I once again demonstrate why it is dangerous to use extreme language to describe what is nothing more than an ideological disagreement. I disagree with what Smith said he heard and saw, but I “tolerate” a Mormon’s right to believe it and say it.
Pignanelli must really be blind to his own hypocrisy when he concludes by writing:
Both Mormons and non-Mormons, in a very public manner, must paint this intolerance for what it is: bigotry. This is not the time for passive-aggressive behavior. Indeed, these narrow-minded fools will learn that there are serious ramifications for their stupidity, if we aggressively counter religious discrimination. We may not be able to convince the bigots overnight, but we can at least shame them out of releasing their poisonous thoughts.
Shaming the narrow-minded fools for their stupidity? Frank, you sound a bit intolerant. Don’t release those “poisonous thoughts”! Instead, deal with the real issues. People like you and Hugh Hewitt, and the many others out there who overuse the word “bigot” are not helping further meaningful discussion with this manipulative name-calling.