Mormon misperceptions of the supposed Christian Nation of America
Salt Lake Tribune
Types: OpinionPublished: 03/18/97Page: A10Keywords: Public Forum Letter No Lack of Belief
Surely, reporter Peggy Fletcher Stack misquoted or misrepresented the LDS Church president in her Feb. 26 article, “Hinckley Decries Godlessness.”
Stack reported that President Hinckley said: “teen pregnancy, abandoned families, failure to recognize the property and rights of others, and general incivility” resulted from people’s failure “to acknowledge deity.” This report cannot possibly be true.
According to the 1997 World Almanac (citing the Encyclopedia Brittanica), of a total North American population of 293 million, over 90 percent are Christians and slightly more are religious. Of a world population of 5.7 billion, 33 percent are Christians, 75 percent are monotheists, and 81 percent are religious. These numbers are growing. In America, church-going and church weddings are on the rise.
Are we to believe that the prophet, seer, and revelator was ignorant of these demographics? It is inconceivable, in light of this data, that he would blame our social ills on disbelief. Hypocrisy, yes. Authoritarianism, blind obedience, narrow-mindedness, group-think, misogyny, xenophobia, homophobia, erotophobia, narcissism, greed, abuse of power, workaholism, lust for material success, bigotry masquerading as family values, and — perhaps worst of all — the hate-generating, self-righteous stance that “our” family, “our” clan, “our” tribe, race, people, religious group, nation or generation is favored by God above all others — these President Hinckley undoubtedly would blame. But mere disbelief in a world full of spiritual confusion, ecclesiastical self-interest and religious sham? Never!
The inspirational statements of LDS Church leaders deserve better and more careful reporting and analysis than what they are getting from The Tribune and the community at large.
Salt Lake City
|Book of Abraham
Book of Mormon
|In The Media