Million of Jews and Sixty Mormons

In a rather perplexing and appalling letter to the editor that ran this week in USA Today, a Mormon man called America’s reaction to Mel Gibson’s anti-semitic rant “hypocritical.”

Why, you might ask?

Apparently, because NOBODY gets up in arms when people protest against the Mormons.

In Jeff Byrd’s world view, Mormons are as picked on as Jews. In fact, Jeff Byrd compares early Mormons to the millions of Jews killed in the Holocaust.

They might be exercising their right to free speech, but their goal is to deny us our freedom to practice our religion. Shouldn’t all Americans be as outraged over anti-Mormonism as over anti-Semitism?

Have the Jews been persecuted even to the point of attempted extermination? Yes, they have.

Have the Mormons been persecuted to the point of death? Yes, we have. Even the governor of Missouri in 1838 signed our “extermination” order.

I did a little research, and discovered that about sixty Mormons were killed after the extermination order of Missouri Governor Lilburn Boggs, issued in 1838.

I can certainly see why Jeff would compare those Mormons to the Holocaust. NOT.

Look, I’m not discounting the fact that Mormons were wrongfully murdered. But the difference between millions and sixty is pretty damn stark. The time frame is also different. No one has been killing Mormons since the mid-1800s. There are still people alive that remember the Nazi concentration camps. There are still people alive that LIVED in those camps and miraculously did not die.

I understand that a loss of life is a loss of life, and persecution is persecution, but if Mr. Byrd is upset about the 60 or so Mormons that were killed, should he not also be required to bring in the innocent men, women and children–82 of them–that were killed in the Mountain Meadows Massacre? There is reliable evidence that Brigham Young was the instigator in this attack, and you can give me every reason in the book for that, or even deny there is any proof, but in this context, let’s just take the facts. Who takes responsibility for that crime? And if you are pissed off about the Mormon extermination order, should you not be equally pissed off about those people?

But let’s get back to the first claim made by Mr. Byrd. To say that no one should be upset by Gibson’s comments because no one gets upset by anti-Mormon comments is ludicrous at best.

If, say, Gibson riffed first on the Jews, and then moved on to the Mormons, perhaps the comparison would gel a bit more. Maybe we could understand Mr. Byrd’s point. But he’s trying to make SOMEONE else’s victimization his OWN. That makes no sense. Apparently, you can’t get upset about Gibson’s racial slurs unless you are also angry at the people protesting outside the latest LDS Temple.

Now, I’ve posted before about the idiots who stand outside Temple Square and taunt Mormons, screaming at them about going to hell, and waving the sacred garments at that. These people are bullies, and seriously whacked. Of course, some Mormons have tried to compare ME to them. Wrongo. I don’t go to their space, but as we have proved time and time again, they come to mine, and then send me hate mail. Only their stance is valid. I should just shut up.

Here’s the problem, Jeff. You have a religion that claims to be the ONLY TRUE RELIGION in the world. Most of us don’t buy that, but that’s okay. The problem comes because YOU are determined to convince EVERYONE ELSE in the world that you have the ONLY TRUE RELIGION. By saying this, you are telling the world, “We are right, and you are wrong.”

This is not respecting someone else’s religion.

And you send out MISSIONARIES that go door to door and try to convince people from EVERY OTHER RELIGION that you are right, and they are wrong. Basically, you just stand there screaming your superiority, and then can’t understand why people get a little peeved about it.

Even more, as long as Mormons are going door to door, and telling the world THEY ARE RIGHT and everyone else is WRONG, WRONG, WRONG, why can Mormons not understand that those of us who disagree have JUST as much right to say it’s NOT true, as you have to say it is.

The day Mormons stop telling the world they have the ONLY TRUE RELIGION is the day that they should expect others to NOT show up and protest at their church events. Respect is a two-way street. You have to EARN it, and you have to give it back. Until that time, you have no right to expect anything. And it has NOTHING to do with Mel Gibson, or the Jews, or even the victims of the Mountain Meadows Massacre.

The saddest part of all of this, is that perhaps Jeff does not realize his huge misstep here. The Mormons, in one of the most arrogant and callous moves I’ve seen, are STILL regularly baptizing the Jewish Holocaust victims posthumously, and they refuse to be sensitive about or understand why the JEWS find this offensive and arrogant. By trying to align your 60 victims with the millions of Jewish Holocaust victims, you are showing that arrogance once again.

Yes, I agree that those 60 Mormons should not have been killed. I also agree that you have the right to practice your religion as you see fit. However, your religion as you see fit involves TELLING THE WORLD you have the only truth, and also BAPTIZING EVERYONE into your religion without their consent.

You must stop these practices in order to get the respect you seem to feel you have the right to demand.

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About Natalie R. Collins

Natalie has more than 30 years writing, editing, proofreading and design experience. She has written 20 books (and counting), has worked for the Sundance Film Festival, and as an investigative journalist, editor, and proofreader. She embraces her gypsy-heart and is following her new free-thinking journey through life. Follow her as she starts over and learns a bunch of life's lessons--some the hard way.
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26 Responses to Million of Jews and Sixty Mormons

  1. Cele says:

    Well said, which is better than I have been doing of late.

    Like

  2. Kris says:

    I highly doubt if members of the LDS church stopped saying they have the only true church that people would stop protesting at church events. Doubt-it.

    That aside, Mel Gibson can say whatever the hell he wants…it is called freedom of speech. You exercise this on your blog, I on mine, millions of others on theirs.

    Personally, I believe any loss of life due to the stupidity of others is shameful regardless of how many died; 60 or a million, it is just plain stupid. What a lot of people forget is that not all of the people that died in concentration camps were Jewish. Scholars, musicians, homosexuals, brown haired brown eyed people…the list goes on…they were also persecuted. I don’t see anyone including those people in their memorials, including Mr. Gibson.

    Would you have been so outraged Natalie if it had been a Jehovah’s Witness who wrote in about Mel Gibson’s comments? Members of the LDS church saying they have the “only true religion” is not the sum of their existence. Did Mr. Byrd say that in his letter to the editor? Just wondering.

    K.

    Like

  3. kd says:

    It seems to me that the Missouri problems should be seen in light of the lead up the to Civil War. The real conflict of Mussouri was between the slave states and abolitionists. Forces from the south wanted Missouri established as a slave state, the LDS in Missouri were not buying into the slave culture.

    Sadly, there was a large number of skirmishes in this period about the slavery issue. For that matter, the whole lead into the Civil War was the struggles over the future of the Western States.

    When the Civil War did errupt, it took 618,000 lives. That is over 10,000 times the claim of 60 Mormons lost during their part of this horrific chain of events.

    NOTE, during the Civil War, Mr. Young was trying to secede from the Union in his Empire of Deseret.

    Like

  4. Matt says:

    Wow. You are one sorry, bitter, whiner.
    Dont you ever wonder what life would be like if you didnt spend so much time and energy being so negative?
    Maybe the reason people havent been very nice to you is because you have been so crabby. Nobody likes a sourpuss. I bet you have personal problems with people around you who arent LDS too.

    Like

  5. Natalie says:

    LOL. No, Matt, actually, I have wonderful friends and relationships, and those include MORMONS. Interesting how one must attack me as a whiner or say I am negative simply because I comment on a PUBLIC letter to the editor.

    Whatever makes you think people haven’t been nice to me. Frankly, comments like yours are FUNNY to me. It just shows your maturity. Instead of ATTACKING the person, how about you TALK about the issue insnead? Or is that impossible for you, because you don’t have an intelligent rebuttal?

    KD,

    Great comments. I tried to put that into perspective, too, but didn’t do as good a job as you did.

    Kris,

    Yes, I would be equally offended if a Jehovah’s Witness wrote that letter. It has NOTHING to do with Mormons. Put it into context. This was an offensive and ill-conceived letter to the editor, and this man owes the Jewish people an apology.

    And yes, I realize others were killed, but if it’s so important, why aren’t YOU naming who they are? I’m not the one who did the comparison. It was the writer of the letter. I am simply addressing the issue of THAT letter. So it’s not my responsibility to bring the others up.

    But I am more than willing to allow you to do so.

    Like

  6. Idahoan says:

    Thank you for saying this in a way I could not articulate.

    Well said.

    Kris, I agree with Natalie, I too would be as equally upset by *any* religious nut job who made such an awful comparison of losing a few members of their church (particularly when those people were not entirely innocent themselves), to the Holocaust.

    Like

  7. Do church members not realize how stupid and petty this makes them look? Hello? The Mormons attacked a state militia in Missouri, which precipitated the “extermination order” and treason charges against Joseph Smith. But sure, that’s completely analagous to the murder of millions of Jews and others in the Holocaust.

    Seems to me the only whiners are the Mormons who think they’re victims because of something that happened 150 years ago. Unbelievable.

    Like

  8. Lately I have been seeing this type of attack (Matt’s complaint of crabbiness) on other ex-mo blogs. What I have seen is that the ex-mo report a sense of uplift and happiness from leaving the church. Ummm… and they joke more and have more fun…

    So who is bitter now? And is it a SIN to be happy?

    Like

  9. Kris says:

    I would again have to say that any persecution of ANY group, religious or not is disgusting in my opinion. I don’t think it matters if “your” group had 180 billion killed due to persecution and extermination or 180 or 8. Extermination/MURDER of a group/people just because you don’t like what they stand for is wrong. The problem is that people in this world are NOT learning from past mistakes and it terrifies me. I am of course looking beyond the argument that Mr. Byrd made. Whether ill written or not he is entitled to his opinion.

    K.

    Like

  10. Natalie says:

    Okay, Kris, but consider KD’s argument. The reason the extermination order was given is because the MORMONS attacked the militia in Missouri. And history shows that Joseph Smith WAS combative, and not entirely innocent in igniting problems among the Gentiles.

    I agree that I have a problem with ANYONE dying because of their religion, but if they are the instigators….

    Like

  11. Kris says:

    I don’t disagree that in the past Mormons have been instigators as well as the recipients of religious intolerance. However, I don’t think that Jospeh Smith was the root cause of every problem associated with the LDS church. I see a pattern of religious persecution in pretty much every religion that I have ever had a chance to study. MY point is that REGARDLESS of the RELIGION, persecution is real.

    K.

    Like

  12. Cele says:

    Wow, leave for a day of shopping and all hell breaks loose. Great discussion guys, and some good points. I knew nothing about the Mormon Massacre until recently. Thank you KD and Joe for the insights.

    One thing that continually frustrates me, and I am sorry to say that the affronted vocal minority Mormons oft times fall into this catagory – but they are not alone, are the people who rant before knowing the facts of their position. Or maybe they do (but I doubt it) and fall on the side that no Mormon can do wrong (once again I doubt it, because that is just silly and blind.) Was the Mormon Massacre awful? You betcha. Innocents led by self rigtheous people died needlessly. Should the Militia have attacked? Well I am Quaker (ugh did you know Martin Harris began his life as a Quaker? foreshame) I DO NOT BELIEVE IN VIOLENCE. But people will arm themselves, people will respond when provoked, and lash out of blind, knee jerk reaction, or worse, actually think about it and still act out of emotion.

    I don’t think compairing the Mormon Massacre to the Holocast (which by the way found Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses, and Black included in those numbered and slaughtered) is a just comparision. It would be like comparing Jones Town, Waco, or Ruby Ridge to the Mormon Massacre – wait that would be a closer comparison.

    And yes I realise I just pissed people off, I’ve been doing it all week long for some reason.

    Like

  13. ktzmom says:

    Natalie – if you make all these people so mad why do they keep coming back and reading your blogs??

    Like

  14. dot says:

    I’ve just learned that the Larry King show featuring Carolyn Jessop and “BANKING ON HEAVEN” has been postponed yet again due to events in the Middle East. As of today I have no information on the new date when it’ll run. Sorry for all the conflicting info I’m sending you. It’s frustrating on this end too.

    Here’s a fantastic summary of what law enforcement is up to regarding Warren Jeffs:
    http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=17030358&BRD=2318&PAG=461&dept_id=484045&rfi=6

    And here’s a rather surprising news item about polygamist children:
    http://www.sltrib.com/utah/ci_4155825

    Now that we’ve launched the DVD, there will be no more public screenings of “BANKING ON HEAVEN”. Order your DVD today at bankingonheaven.com. It’s 73 minutes, with a bonus Director’s Cut (which is hilarious, if I do say so myself). A generous portion of sales go to help the women & children escaping the FLDS.

    Like

  15. Howy says:

    I don’t want to Google it. I don’t want to look it up at all. So, I’ll just ask. What the heck is FLDS? I can come up with my own definition but I’m almost certain it wouldn’t be correct or even PG13.

    Like

  16. Ben VerHoef says:

    I happened to come across this website and I am astounded by the lack of information most of the people who have posted a blog have on the LDS church. To say that only 60 people were killed after the extermination order on the saints is to be ignorant of the facts or incapable of researching. The number of saints killed, raped, assaulted, or left for dead are far more than 60 before, and after the order. And that is not mentioning the untold millions of dollars in property and goods the saints lost to ravenous mobs in and around Missouri. The exact number is too great to document in this type of setting, but it would be smart to do your homework more efficiently before writing false claims and information about a religion. There are several other discrepancies on this site that are too numerous to counter, which is why the mormons don’t get up in arms when they are persecuted or hear horrible things said about them. They won’t waste time trying to correct false rumors or accusations because people will think what they want to think. It is better to try to spread their message of hope and peace to others without “convincing” them as someone wrote, but giving our message peacefully and leaving it up to the individual to pray and decide for his/herself.

    Like

  17. Howy says:

    Oh Ben, you only want to be a Mormon because it’s a great deal for men. Any intelligent person has to know that religion is a scam. C’mon . . . you’re not fooling anyone.

    Why is it Mormons dispute without facts?

    Aren’t those funny underwaer hot this time of year?

    Like

  18. Cele says:

    excellent and informative articles Dot, thank you for sharing.

    Like

  19. azteclady says:

    FLDS = Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

    Like

  20. Howy says:

    Thanks, Azteclady.
    Are you a fan of SDSU?

    Like

  21. azteclady says:

    I confess my utter ignorance–what does SDSU stand for?

    Like

  22. Natalie says:

    azteclady,

    Cuz I know Howy, I’m guessing he means San Diego State University. Am I right, Howy?

    Like

  23. Howy says:

    Yup, dead-on. Nat, I’m astounded you admit to knowing me.

    Like

  24. Heavensto Murgatroyd says:

    Oh, mercy. There are believing Mormons here? I can’t reconcile this one thing: I meet a really intelligent, funny, sophisticated person. I love this person. Then I find out they are Mormon. I can’t make those two things work together! Smart…..Mormon. Anyone with a brain and free will has only to read for an hour to find out the whole thing is a hoax. Any ex-Mos here who would like to TRY to explain how smart people can believe it? And, are there secretly Mormons who whisper, “I know it’s crap…but it’s how I was raised…” ? THERE MUST BE. TELL ME THERE ARE.
    Natalie, you are hilarious. I have snorted several times this evening while reading. That’s high praise, you know.

    Like

  25. Natalie says:

    Hey Heavens,

    Most of the “believing” Mormons that hang out here, with the exception of Kris, are drive-by Mormons. They drive-by, throw me hate mail, and run for their lives.

    And of COURSE there are Mormons who know it can’t possibly be true. It’s a cultural thing. Some people just smile and grin and bear it. If you want to live, work, and thrive in Utah, you have to play the game. Or you can take the Collins route, which is the EXACT opposite, and poke sticks in their cages…..

    Like

  26. Heavensto Murgatroyd says:

    Natalie, thanks. But what about Mormons in non-Mormon dominated cities? Do they need to smile and grin and bear it? Can’t they throw in the towel and say, “This is crap, I’m outta here?” I know there are family pressures, but fer crysakes a lot of us abandoned our childhood religions and we survived.

    Sometime I would LOVE to talk to a practicing Mormon who knows it’s all crap. I would love that. Meanwhile, I will make do with inviting the missionaries in for a sandwich and trying to break them down. Perhaps I’m evil, but that’s what I call a good time.

    Like

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