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Interfaith Dialogue ( 23 Apr 2012, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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The Mormon Moment

By Mike Ghouse
24 Apr 2012

The Christian battles with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) are seemingly internal. Most non-Christians treat Mormons as a Christian denomination. Years ago, in a public program we had organized for the Foundation for Pluralism, we listed Mormons as a Christian denomination. Interestingly, a response from a Mormon attendee was amazing. He asked, “Do you really mean this?”

Today, the most common public issues that religious leaders yearn to influence are abortion, same sex marriage, mandating contraceptives, charity work and immigration. Most religious leaders fit in the range from acceptors to rejecters of the otherness of others. Either they are roped in by the politicians to play their tunes or politicians seize the opportunity to advance themselves. Mormons, in this area, seem to be no different than anyone else.

One of the founding principles of all religions is to inculcate humility in its followers as it builds communities, while arrogance kills it. However, a few greedy Pastors, Imams, Rabbis, Pundits, Shamans and other vainglorious clergy, preach just the opposite; arrogance. They are bent on denying divinity to others and make a villain out of God, as if God has signed an exclusive deal with them behind other’s back.

In January this year, ten national evangelical pastors met in Texas to undo Romney’s gains and unleashed Santorum on him. Outside of this group, a few have called Romney’s faith a cult and a few others said, he was not Christian enough! Obviously, the Republican leadership and the Tea Party are not in tune with the Moderate Republicans, let alone the American public. Against, their scheme, the presumptive Republican nominee is Romney now.

Indeed, there are a few in each group, who see other’s religious practices as weird, arrogantly assuming that their practices are perfect to others. One of my favorite authors from my youth days, Dr. Khushwant Singh, editor of the famous Illustrated weekly of India, a Sikh who wears full Sikhism on him, had criticized Muslims for not being progressive, and urged them to give up the veil and start drinking alcohol! Do you see the Kettle calling the pot black? No one is free from this hubris.
As a Moderate Republican, I do not see Mormons to be any different than other groups of people such as Baptists, Presbyterians, Evangelicals, Methodists, Catholics, Lutherans, Hindus, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Sikhs and others, who believe in a God and seek his guidance.

THE MORMON MOMENT will come when they make their places of worship open to the public. Even though every Chapel has a sign that welcomes visitors, and I have been to several including one in Saudi Arabia in 1979, the myths continue to persist, like the underwear, polygamy, obedience from women, and temple ordinances limiting entry to the inside sanctuary even to Ann Romney’s Non-Mormon parents during her wedding.

It’s time to remove the myths, and the Mormon Church has an opportunity to do it through open houses, just as Muslims did after 9/11.

The myth that if Romney were elected President, he would impose Mormon Sharia onto Americans is no more valid than the idea that President Kennedy, a Catholic, imposed Catholic Sharia onto Americans when he was elected. Neither President Carter imposed Baptist Sharia nor did President Bush impose Methodist Sharia.
It is time ask them! I am convinced that it is better and more truthful to learn of others from them as they say “this is what we believe” rather than from those who would say, “This is what they believe”.

Let us all thank God, by whatever name we know Him, that we live in America, the land of free and the land where we can, each and every one of us, to be ourselves! We have left an ugly past behind us, which included persecuting Native Americans, African Americans, Catholics, Jews, Baptists and others. We must, now, go further and spare Muslims, LGBT communities, Mexicans, Mormons and a few others. We need to grow up and learn to accept the otherness of others and to remember that this is the new American exceptionalism; Pluralism!

MikeGhouse is committed to building a Cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. He is a professional speaker, thinker and a writer on pluralism, politics, civic affairs, Islam, India, Israel, peace and justice. Mike is a frequent guest on Sean Hannity show on Fox TV, and a commentator on national radio networks, he writes weekly at Dallas Morning News and regularly at Huffington post, and several other periodicals across the world. The blog www.TheGhousediary.com is updated daily.
Source: Dallas Morning news
URL:  http://newageislam.com/interfaith-dialogue/by-mike-ghouse/the-mormon-moment/d/7132

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