Mike Adams delivers an “apology” (sort of) to his Mormon/LDS readers.
Several LDS readers requested an apology after Adams took a gratuitous swipe at their church in a previous column, titled “The Judgment of Future Generations”, which dealt with same sex marriage.
Here’s the paragraph they found upsetting:
People often try to call something a marriage when it isn’t. Calling a union between two men or between two women a marriage doesn’t make it one. It’s like embedding the name “Jesus Christ” in the official title of the LDS church and thinking that makes Mormonism somehow Christian. Call a square a triangle if you like but it’s still a square. Your hardheadedness won’t make it become a triangle. It will only make you appear obtuse (emphasis added).
My immediate reaction upon reading this was to cringe the way an American traveller abroad cringes when witnessing another American behaving in stereotypically boorish “ugly American” fashion. I was nonplussed to understand why Adams chose to take a calculated cheap shot at Mormons, especially when arguing about an issue on which the people he insults are more likely to agree with him than those who share the faith he claims to represent.
First, it wasn’t necessary to insult anyone to make his point. Adams could have quoted Lincoln instead, “If you call a tail a leg, how many legs does a dog have? The answer is four, because calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg.” That would make the same point more effectively, without losing friends and alienating people on purpose. Now, after being asked to apologize, he quadruples down on the ridicule and Mormon-baiting.
As my friends and colleagues know, I find it easy enough to lose friends and alienate people unintentionally. Adams seems to enjoy going out of his way to attack staunch allies in the culture wars on purpose. He’s already written a three-part series of columns on Mormonism, which upset his LDS readers. Having done my own homework on Latter Day Saints history and teachings, I find myself uncomfortably in agreement with Adams about the truth claims of Mormonism. BUt I also find myself almost wishing that I did not agree with him. I’m embarrassed by his uncharitable behavior toward others, Christians or not. And even more embarrassed that he calls himself a Christian and them non-Christians while behaving so uncharitably toward them.
Writing in the middle of the 1st century AD, St. Peter still has the best approach to effective apologetics: “Always be prepared to make a defense [of the faith] to anyone who calls you to account for the hope that is in you.” When I began studying the faith seriously, I took these words to heart and tried to learn everything I could about my faith. But I failed to heed the rest of St. Peter’s advice: “… yet do it with gentleness and reverence; and keep your conscience clear, so that when you are abused, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.” As a popular saying attributed to various authors says: “in essentials, unity; in doubtful matters, liberty; in all things, charity.” I still have a long way to go with respect to the last one, but at least I recognize that I fall short of the mark. This is a lesson that Dr. Adams seems to delight in never having bothered to learn.
Predictably, most of the comments on the original Townhall piece quickly descended into ugly Mormon-baiting. On a positive note I suppose, at long last we may have found an issue where the Tolerant™ Left and the More-Christian-Than-Thou Right can agree. Whether it’s celebrating The Book of Mormon (the Musical) or Dr. Adams callbacks to Joseph Smith’s prophetic spot-on 1830s Bill Clinton impression, Mormons, because they tend not to fight back, are safe targets for ridicule and abuse.
But at least the South Park creators of The Book of Mormon musical are minimally consistent, devoting approximately 0.1% of their ridicule at Islam and the prophet Muhammad. Instead of asking Adams to apologize, I’d like Morman critics on both sides of the political spectrum to give equal time to insulting Islam.
After all, if a religion that abandoned polygamy a century ago deserves ridicule, why should a religion that still practices polygamy today (and seeks to impose a worldwide Caliphate under Sharia law where women are enslaved, homosexuals executed, and rape victims stoned to death) deserve so much more respect?
Rhetorical question. We already know the answer.