Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Mormons and persecution

The next time somebody starts going off in a church meeting about how persecuted they are as a Mormon,* i’m going to direct them to the recent NPR story on Iraqi Christians being singled out for death threats and even actual killing simply because they’re Christian.

That’s persecution, folks. People look at you weird or won’t vote for you or laugh about your beliefs ’cause you’re a Mormon, that’s simply life. Get over yourself. Mormons in the 1830s and 1840s were persecuted. Mormons in the 1880s were persecuted. Nowadays? If Iraqi Christians had the time or energy to spare, they would scoff at your delusions—and they’d be justified in doing so.

* A surprisingly common meme, really. Occasionally it’s blatant (the “somebody laughed at me at school because i’m Mormon” sort of thing), but usually it’s more subtle, and couched in terms of “attacks” on religion or the family or somesuch, but set up with a clear attack-on-Mormonism sort of spin.


Heather the Mama Duk said...

You simply cannot do that because then you'd be persecuting their right to complain. Because Mormons (people in general) LOVE to complain!

Actually, I think they are using a stronger word than they should. Persecution is a very, very loaded word and should be reserved for what was done to the Saints in the 1800s and what is done to Iraqi Christians today. The word they should use is "made fun of me" or "laughed at me" because I am Mormon. It is accurate and true. Unless of course they were just being made fun of because they have big ears or something.

Seriously, though, it annoys me when people use too strong of a word to describe something. For example, recently a friend said routine infant circumcision is child abuse. This annoyed me greatly first of all because it's so far from child abuse the comparison is laughable (and this from someone who has three intact sons so she definitely wasn't calling me a child abuser), but mostly because it kind of brings real child abuse down to something that isn't so abhorrent. To say someone laughing at you because you are a Mormon is persecution really belittles what those Iraqi Christians are going through and what the early Saints went through.

Michelle said...

This one bugs me, too. I especially love when people talk about how they are persecuted for having so many kids. Until someone is actually trying to kill your children to reduce the number of Mormons in the world, I don't think you can call that persecution. Of course, these are generally the same people who are quick to judge (vocally) a Mormon family with few or no children without bothering to learn the background on the situation. So would that be reverse persecution?

David B said...

Hey, it’s always good to know there’s one thing in this world the three of us can agree on! ☺

And i’ve posted it on the blog before, Michelle, but the whole “persecuted for having too many kids” thing is weird at me. I mean, if that’s persecution (even defined downward from what the word really means), then if somebody complements a parent on how well-behaved their children are, or expresses admiration at how well the parent manages to run a family with that many children, well, wouldn’t that mean they were experiencing whatever the polar opposite of persecution is? Why don’t we get told all about how those sorts of events are evidence we’re not persecuted?

(And yeah, i know the answer—it’s Heather’s first paragraph, above. I just had to go into vent mode a little bit, you know, get my own love-to-complain on.)